Neil Critchley makes honest Blackpool squad admission as he sends clear message

Neil Critchley wants a response from his players. (Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)
Neil Critchley wants a response from his players. (Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)

Neil Critchley has admitted that his Blackpool players may have seen a different side to him this week after his brutally honest assessment of the defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.

The 44-year-old doubled down on his comments from last week, admitting that the manner of performance in the defeat to the Chairboys wasn't what he'd associate with his team.

Six days have passed since the defeat, and in the aftermath he made the admission that he wanted more personality from his side. Last week’s defeat saw frustration amongst sections of the fan base, and now there is a real need for a response to avoid a longer slump in form.

"Possibly," when asked if the players had seen another side of him this week.

"I think the players know where they stand with me. I like to try and be clear and consistent with my messaging. When you then don't perform how you'd like, you then refer back to messages then from pre-season or other games we've played.

"The players know it's easier to evaluate your performances if you're consistent, because you're looking for consistent things on the pitch.

Blackpool have struggled on the road this season and have picked up one point from a possible nine in their opening three games in League One, but are at least back to their home comforts this weekend.

The team are now back amongst their own supporters at Bloomfield Road, where they have been unbeaten so far this term and face a Reading side that have struggled on the road. Reading have not won an away league match since November 11, 2022 and so that provides an opportunity to Blackpool to extend that winless run.

In the build-up to the clash with the Royals, the former QPR head coach has admitted he’s not afraid to make himself known, and remind the players of the task in hand.

Critchley added: "I can strongly reinforce to them that this is what is expected. This week it's about reinforcing the team of who we want to be.

“We need to try and get back to who we were and last week wasn't a performance I would associate with a Blackpool team whilst I've been in charge.

"We're probably just trying to find that consistency of being us again, that identity as a team which takes time to build. When you look at the team on the pitch, there are different players from last season and we're searching for who we are again.

“I've seen lots of positives in the performance even in the last half-hour of the game last week which we created a number of chances.

“If we would have taken one of them we might have taken something out of the game and we had real momentum at that moment in time.

“We weren't who we were in the first 20-30 minutes of that game, and that cost us. We're searching for that 90-95, whatever it is, being us all the time and that's been reinforced to the players this week.”