Blackpool boss says Sonny Carey learned tough lesson against Stoke

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Neil Critchley believes Wednesday night’s disappointment against Stoke City will be a great learning curve for Sonny Carey.


The 20-year-old got little change out of an experienced Stoke midfield on what was his first home league start for the Seasiders.

But Carey, who made the move from non-league side Kings Lynn Town during the summer, kept plugging away.

Wednesday’s match against Stoke will be as tough a game as Sonny Carey has played in says boss Neil Critchley

“That’s as tough a game as Sonny will have ever played in with the calibre of some of the Stoke players,” head coach Critchley said.

“But what Sonny doesn’t do is he doesn’t go missing. He’s there and kept going right until the end.

“It was a tough game for Sonny but I was pleased with him. He doesn’t shirk any responsibility, he doesn’t go hiding on the pitch and he always wants the ball.

“That will be a great learning game for him.”

Carey came into the side in place of Gary Madine, who was dropped to the bench despite his impressive display in the weekend win against Sheffield United.

It saw Pool revert to a 4-2-3-1 system, with Carey playing just off frontman Jerry Yates, who was isolated at times, especially during the second half.

When asked if the decision to opt for Carey over Madine was motivated by a desire to give Madine a rest or wanting to switch things around tactically, Critchley added: “A bit of both really.

“Sonny deserves to play and he almost scored in the first half, when Jerry cuts the ball back, but it’s really good defending with a great block.”

Despite the Stoke setback, the fans stayed with the team and often ramped up the noise levels when their side came under pressure.

Critchley said: “The crowd appreciate the efforts and we appreciate the crowd getting behind us, and they stayed with us right until the end.

“It would have been nice if we had got the ball in the box a little bit more, had more shots and tested the keeper but we didn’t do that.

“Our play in the final third wasn’t good enough in the second half but credit to Stoke because they defended the goal very well.”