Blackpool players challenged to take the next step after West Bromwich Albion draw

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Blackpool’s players have been told their next challenge is to turn their recent draws into victories.

 

Tuesday night’s goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion means Neil Critchley’s men have picked up a point in each of their last three encounters.

Considering the level of opposition in West Brom, Swansea City and QPR, most Pool fans are satisfied with their current run – but not Critchley.

“I’ve just said to the players ‘well done, good point’ but I also told them it’s about time we won a game as well,” he said.

Neil Critchley had a message for his Blackpool players

Neil Critchley had a message for his Blackpool players

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“You look at the performances; Stoke, QPR, Swansea, West Brom, we’ve only lost one of those games but we didn’t win one either.

“That’s our next step if you like. We’re consistently competing, we’re not getting beaten, but now can we turn those 0-0s or 1-1s into a 2-1 or a 1-0 victory?

“We nearly did that on Tuesday, but not quite.”

One of the most impressive facets of Blackpool’s performance on Tuesday night was how they were able to roll up their sleeves and battle against a physical Baggies side.

The Seasiders had to show a different side to their game than they did on Saturday, when they were involved in a more technical, possession-based affair at Swansea.

“That’s one of our strengths,” Critchley said in terms of his side’s flexibility.

“We changed our shape from what we played on Saturday and we’ve had to show a different side to our game.

“We’ve done extremely well. West Brom are a big, powerful team; they’re a team of men.

“There’s no kids or younger players with potential. They’re all proven Championship or Premier League players and you have to stand up to it.

“We haven’t got that experience but I’m delighted with the effort.”

Pool had to withstand a barrage of pressure at times against West Brom, who ended the game with 23 shots on goal.

However, the men in tangerine were helped over the line by the Blackpool faithful, who were in raucous mood once again under the lights at Bloomfield Road.

“Marvin (Ekpiteta) had to make a big block in the final few minutes and the crowd massively helped near the end of the game,” Critchley said.

“They sensed the players were running on empty and they just gave them that extra two per cent or five per cent, just to get us over the line and get us a point.

“To compete with a club and a team like West Brom, and it’s not like we were fortunate to get a point, that’s big for us.

“We’re competing every week and we’re up against some big teams, some big clubs, and the supporters really appreciate the efforts and we really appreciate their support as always.”