Neil Critchley: Blackpool players must keep feet on ground but I want fans to dream

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Neil Critchley insists he’s more than happy to see Blackpool fans beginning to dream.


Blackpool’s players are keeping their feet firmly on the ground according to Critchley, who has led his side into the Championship play-offs after 15 games.

But Pool’s head coach is more than happy to see the fans getting carried away.

Players must not get carried away but it's great for the fans to, says Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

Players must not get carried away but it’s great for the fans to, says Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

Critchley said: “At the start of the season we warned the players we might experience more disappointment this season than we did last season.

“That doesn’t mean I just accept getting beaten. It’s just that we have to be realistic of where we are.

“That’s a strength of ours – we don’t get too down if we lose and we don’t get too carried away when we win. We’re realistic with our expectations.

“Of course we want the supporters to get carried away, be excited and dream of whatever they might be dreaming of at the moment. Why not?

“That’s why we’re all involved in football – to have that excitement and emotion. But dreaming about it and the actual reality are two different things.

“We know how hard it is to come away with a victory in any game in the Championship. We know the level of preparation you need and how ready you have to be physically and mentally for every game. It’s an enormous effort.

“By all means let the supporters do what they do. What a following we had again on Saturday and it was brilliant to see them celebrate our goal (the winner at Sheffield United) and the end of the game.

“I’m sure they will be feeling really good about the situation at the moment. We are as well but we have to be a little bit different.”

The Seasiders, who host Stoke City tonight (7.45), have responded brilliantly since losing captain Chris Maxwell and top scorer Shayne Lavery to injury in last month’s defeat at Nottingham Forest. Critchley’s men have since beaten Reading, Preston North End and the Blades.

“The players never cease to impress me with how they respond,” Critchley said. “We knew there would be a good chance we would lose more games, concede more goals or go behind more often than last season.

“We spoke about overcoming disappointment during games and after games, and how we deal with it as a group.

“So far we’ve done it very well. You only have to look at the Bournemouth and Reading games – we respond to going behind and we’ve responded when we’ve been beaten.

“I’ve been delighted with the response and we know this league is unforgiving, so a winning run can quickly turn the other way.

“We always guard against complacency and we’ll be ready to go again on Wednesday night.”