Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has openly identified where improvement are needed in his squad.

Blackpool sit bang in the middle of the Sky Bet Championship table following their prolonged return back to the second-tier.

Critchley took over the Seasiders before the curtailment of the League One season in March 2020, and in his first full season took his side to immediate glory after coming out as 2-1 victors in the League One play-off final against Lincoln City.

Realistically, it has been a better-than-expected start to the season for Blackpool, who are unbeaten in their last four games, winning three of them, but Critchley believes there are a lot of departments they can improve in.

“The next development for this team is when we’re leading games, we’ve got to be better.” he told The Gazette.

“You can do what we’ve done against Blackburn, which is defend manually and put bodies on the line.

“You can also see the game out by killing the opposition with the ball, but we just come a little bit anxious with the ball in the second half.

“I would have liked us to have been a little calmer and make some more passes. If we can do that, I’m excited about where this team can get to.”

Thoughts?

Conceding while winning, mostly late on, has been a running theme in the Tangerines’ recent games, most recently conceding in the 84th minute against 10-man Hull City to only come away with a draw. Against Millwall, Blackpool thought they did enough to earn a draw with only ten-men on the pitch, but were cancelled out by a last-minute Jake Cooper goal, which was poorly defended and could’ve been easily preventable.

This said, the areas where Neil Critchley said he needs to improve look like it would help his side a lot to hopefully gain more precious points in this tough league.

Blackpool travel to the City Ground on Saturday afternoon as they are hosted by Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest. Critchley will no doubt be looking for his players to react quickly to his comments as he looks to cement his side as a solid Championship club.

He will be looking at players such as Shayne Lavery, who has scored seven league goals this season, to continue their fine form and guide Blackpool up the table.