How Neil Critchley views Blackpool’s goalkeeping situation following Chris Maxwell’s return

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Neil Critchley believes he’s now in the incredibly fortunate position of having two number ones vying for Blackpool’s goalkeeping jersey.


Chris Maxwell made his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday in Blackpool’s 3-0 home defeat to Luton Town.

His place in the side was taken by Dan Grimshaw, who performed superbly, conceding just eight goals in the nine games he played.

Maxwell though remains the club’s captain and has arguably been Pool’s standout performer over the last couple of seasons.

When asked if Maxwell’s significance to the team made it a simple decision to bring him back into the fold on Saturday, Critchley told The Gazette: “No, not at all. It was a tough decision because Grimmy has been excellent.

“He’s played very well in the games he’s had. He’s managed to get experience he didn’t have before.

“I spoke to him about it on Friday and I told him he made the decision very difficult, but Maxi is the captain, he’s been the number one, he was fantastic last season and he’s been fantastic until he got injured this season.

Maxwell returned to the starting line-up on Saturday following his return from injury

Maxwell returned to the starting line-up on Saturday following his return from injury

“What makes it apparent now is that we’ve got two genuine number ones.”

Maxwell will be the first to admit he was a little rusty on his return from a torn quadricep, a setback he suffered in the victory against Blackburn Rovers at the start of October.

Both of Luton’s first two goals came from deep crosses into the six-yard box which Maxwell, as well as the defenders in front of him, failed to deal with.

“It’s always a collective thing,” Critchley said.

“You look at the first goal, which comes from the corner. The conditions were horrible for both teams, it’s swirling around and we’ve not dealt with the big fella at the back post.

“We could have stopped that, it was a soft goal to give away.

“The goals were poor, the first and second. Yeah, there’s the third goal, but the game is over by then anyway. It’s the first two really, they were just poor goals to give away.”