Neil Critchley provides his verdict on Blackpool’s battling draw against Swansea City

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Neil Critchley was delighted with the character his Blackpool side showed to grab a late equaliser during today’s hard-fought draw against Swansea City.

 

Keshi Anderson netted his third goal in his last five games four minutes from time to earn Critchley’s side a deserved draw.

The Swans, who had won their last four home games prior to this afternoon’s encounter, looked to be heading for another win courtesy of Joe Piroe’s stunning first-half strike.

But the visitors struck at the death to level and even had a chance to win it in dramatic fashion in stoppage time, with Anderson having a similar effort headed off the line.

“Swansea play a unique brand of football, they’re the best footballing side in the division and their home record is outstanding,” Critchley said post-match.

“We decided the best way to combat that was to change our shape today and we gave them a real problem without the ball in the first-half.

“Other than the lad striking one in the top corner from 25 yards, they didn’t really get near the goal.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley

“In the second-half, we showed real courage on the ball and we got on top of them and we made them do what they don’t want to do, which is defend. At times we were in control of the game and that takes real bravery and ability.

“We didn’t threaten the goal enough, but we were growing into the game all the time and in the end I don’t think anything can begrudge us of our point.”

The Seasiders could have even stolen the win at the death, when Anderson had a similar effort headed off the line in stoppage-time.

“I thought it was a really good goal from Keshi,” Critchley said.

“It looked like it was maybe a scuffed finish but he controlled it really well and it would have been easy to smash it over the bar.

“I’m not sure we would have deserved to score at the end to make it 2-1, but we were fully deserving of a point.

“Our character is never to be doubted though, we have it in abundance.

“The togetherness and the work ethic, you need it here because there are times when they’ll send you a little bit dizzy with the football they play.

“We said that before the game, so we told the players there will be long periods where they don’t see the ball and we’ve got to stay together and not get frustrated.

“We had to remember the game is about scoring goals and you have to remember where the goals are.

“Our goalkeeper has had very little to do and neither has theirs, but they’re one of the best sides in terms of limiting chances against them because of how well they play.

“But for us to come here as the away team, and I’ve seen a lot of their games where they’ve won 3-0 and scorelines like that, we’ve been more than a match for them today.”

Critchley added: “I thought Keshi was outstanding today.

“His work ethic and his running back and back tackling from behind and picking up second balls was brilliant.

“Callum Connolly coming into the team as well after not playing football for a long time, he was fantastic. It was an outstanding performance from him.”