Neil Critchley will be delighted to have boosted Blackpool’s firepower with the signing of Jake Beesley after admitting his side missed “really gilt-edged, glaring chances” in their shock FA Cup exit at Hartlepool United.
Beesley joined on a three-and-a-half-year contract yesterday, having scored four goals in his last two games for Rochdale.
And head coach Critchley admitted the Seasiders could only blame their own faulty finishing for Saturday’s 2-1 third-round defeat against League Two opposition, after chances to build on Keshi Anderson’s early goal were squandered.
Shayne Lavery battles for the ball at Hartlepool but it wasn’t Blackpool’s day in front of goal
Shayne Lavery in particular had an off-day in front of goal and Critchley said: “We missed big chances, not half-chances. At 1-0 we were in control and we had some big opportunities to go two or three goals up. Ultimately we weren’t good enough at both ends of the football pitch and that’s why we have been beaten.
“It wasn’t our lack of effort towards the end. We threw everything at them, changed the shape and got lots of balls into the box but we couldn’t force a goal.
“Goals change games and theirs gave them a lift at important times. It gave them something to hold on to and our quality was found wanting.
“When you create the chances we did you would expect to take one of them. If we had at 1-0 you could only see one winner but if you don’t take your chances you don’t win games.”
Blackpool had scored seven goals in their previous four games, having managed just one from open play in the previous seven.
Critchley added: “I think we’ve been looking more of a threat attacking-wise recently. We’ve scored more goals in our league games and in the cup we should have scored more than one.
“We got into really good situations, but the last action in front of the goal frame has cost us. Our decision-making and final pass have been good, it has just been our technique or technical ability which let us down unfortunately.”
But Critchley, a fervent believer in the magic of the FA Cup even when on the wrong side of a giantkilling, was gracious enough to accept the day was all about Hartlepool, whose reward is a fourth-round trip to Premier League Crystal Palace.
He added: “We’ve had a real taste of what FA Cup football is all about. We had our success last year against West Brom at the same stage and now we are on the receiving end. It’s not a nice feeling, I can assure you.
“You could see their celebrations and there’s something magical about the FA Cup third round. It’s a great day but unfortunately for us these days can happen. We are not the first and won’t be the last.
“But what has cost us has been our start to the second half, a 15 or 20-minute period when we were not at it at all and totally unrecognisable from a Blackpool team I’ve been in charge of in my time here.”