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Critchley: Team Will Be More Than Capable

Head Coach Backs Squad Ahead of Wigan Fixture

26 January 2021

Neil Critchley admits Blackpool will once again be stretched when facing Wigan Athletic, yet he has full belief in the side that will take to the field.

The Seasiders return to league action tonight missing a host of players for a variety of reasons, though there is still plenty of quality within the squad available for selection.

“The players who obviously tested positive for coronavirus are out and self-isolating, and they will now return at different stages. We’ve also got injured players who are still injured,” Critchley explained.  

“From Saturday, there’s very little change to the squad, but I believe that the team that takes to the pitch is one that is capable of going to Wigan and winning.

"Yes, we're limited on numbers and stretched at the moment, but it just gives the others the opportunity to play.

“We stressed right from day one of the season that this season was going to be like no other and we’re going to need every single one of them to contribute if we’re going to be successful.”

One player who could come into the reckoning on the back of the weekend’s game at Brighton is Kevin Stewart, with the midfielder set to be fast-tracked into a debut after signing for the club.  

“Because of the circumstances, that might be sooner rather than later,” Pool’s Head Coach admitted. “One thing I’ll say about Kevin is that he’s an extremely fit man, he’s ultra-professional and he looks after his body. He dedicates his life to his profession, and that’s the reason I wanted to bring him here.

“Not only will he contribute massively on the pitch, but if you want to try and develop the right culture and the right environment on a daily basis at the training ground, then Kevin will add to that massively. I’m delighted that he’s joined.

“He’s been at Brentford before Christmas and played some games for their B Team, so he’s not without football whatsoever and he has been training. He might appear or figure quite quickly.”

As for the opposition tonight, Critchley is wary of underestimating a team that has picked up some good recent results in the backdrop of an ongoing takeover process.  

“I think they are very dangerous opponents. You can easily look at the league and how many wins they’ve had and think that the club has had some bad news and the players have been affected by it. When you watch the team on the pitch, the players play with no fear and they play like they’ve got nothing to lose.

“They’ve also got a lot of new players, fresh players that haven’t been at the club previously and therefore haven’t been affected by the situation. They just see it as an opportunity to go and play and showcase themselves, and that’s what they’re doing.”


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