Blackpool's manager discussed the team's play-off chances.
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Blackpool’s manager discussed the team’s play-off chances.

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Despite his side’s ongoing battle to reach the play-offs, Blackpool manager Neil Critchley has stated that he does not check the League One table rankings.

The Seasiders manager maintains that his team only needs to win and not worry about what other teams are doing as they compete for a top six berth alongside Lincoln City, Oxford United, and Stevenage. Oxford now holds the final position, with Lincoln just two points behind. Blackpool and Stevenage are another point behind, despite having played one extra game each.

Critchley’s side has earned seven points from a possible 15 in the last five games, including a win in the Lancashire Derby over relegation candidates Fleetwood Town. They have a favorable match against already-relegated Carlisle United tomorrow afternoon.

They are still in contention, but they will understand that they will need a lot of luck to beat the clubs directly above them. Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette before of tomorrow’s game, the manager appraised his team’s play-off prospects:

“I talk to the players about what we can control and what we can’t. We can only focus on ourselves and prepare as we always do, focusing on how we’re going to win the game against Carlisle.

“I really don’t need to look at the league table because I know we just need to win; it’s that easy. I try not to look at other teams’ points, games, or run-ins because it takes all of your time to think about ‘what if’ scenarios, which takes your focus away from what you’re doing. We need to focus on ourselves.

“If we do our part, we aim to put enough pressure on the teams around us to drop points, allowing us to take advantage of that. We’re in the conversation, and we want to stay there as long as possible to keep it interesting.

“We believe we need to win all of our remaining games. If we can make it to the final day of the season, anything is possible. At some point, I’ll need to know the league table because it can influence your decision-making, but the bottom line is that we need to win at Carlisle.

Following the trip to Cumbria, Blackpool have their final home game of the season against fifth-placed Barnsley before finishing with a trip to mid-table Reading.

Writer’s View

This has been one of the most interesting seasons in League One in a long time, and many questions remain unresolved with most teams just having three or four games left.

It’s logical that Critchley avoids the table. As he indicated, only wins will suffice if they are serious about reclaiming the Championship at the first opportunity. Any of those four clubs might finish in that crucial sixth slot, and it’s great to see the season not simply fizzle out.

 

 

 

 

 

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