Critchley: Madine Can Offer Added Dimension

Neil Critchley hopes that Gary Madine can put his recent injury troubles behind him and offer an ‘added dimension’ to the Seasiders on the pitch.

The striker made a surprise return to action against Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night, having been registered on Pool’s squad list with the EFL.

A troublesome groin injury and some related off-season surgery have limited his appearances in a tangerine shirt during 2021, however his 20-minute cameo off the bench last night is hopefully a sign of things to come.

“You could see, even in those 20 minutes, what he brings to the team. He gives a bit of an added dimension to our team at the top end of the pitch,” Critchley said. “I actually don’t think we crossed the ball enough near the end to use him, but that’s probably because we’ve not been used to having him on the pitch.”

A few stop-start moments in his bid to return to action mean that Madine is still building his way up to full match sharpness, so a first start may take a bit of time.   

“I wouldn’t say he’s ready to go 90 minutes yet because he’s not played a lot of football since January, really,” Critchley explained. “He came back towards the end of last season, but they were fleeting appearances at the end of games.

“Hopefully for Gary now that’s a start and he can stay fit and build up his training load.

“If he does that, then I’m sure at some stage that he’ll be able to increase his minutes on the pitch.”

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