Blackpool have already defied all odds for this campaign to avoid any hint of a relegation battle.
Their first league season in six years saw them easily outperform other promoted sides at Peterborough and Hull and they now continue to look down the table at the end of the season.
The performances of the last few weeks could easily have been turned into more points for the sailors and that made the challenge of an unlikely playoff berth a little more difficult.
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But that hasn’t stopped the team and their head coach from aspiring to move forward. Expectations were already high before a ball was kicked at Bloomfield Road and that never waned.
With QPR on the horizon ahead of a home game against Reading, the next games will be crucial in determining whether or not Blackpool will have anything to play for at the end of the season.
And while he’s proud of the achievements so far, Neil Critchley isn’t happy to be content with the current state of the game: “I’ve really enjoyed this season back in the Championship but we want more, I want more.
“We are there but I don’t just want us to be there, I don’t want us to be 15th or 16th, I want us to progress and move up the rankings.
“We’re eight or nine points out of the playoffs with a lot of games to play, so there’s a lot of points to go, it’s so close.
“We would have to organize a race and there are so many teams ahead of us, but why not?
“The next five or six games are going to be really important, we have to take points and I told the players that before the game against Cardiff – if we’re going to keep looking up then the bare minimum we have to take the game was a point.
“We got one point, it could have been three and now it’s the same at QPR, we have to go there with the same mindset that we have to try to pick something up from this game and keep that momentum going. . Saturday.
“I think it’s really important and if we can be somewhere there with six or eight games to go then what a great end to the season we have to look forward to and I’m sure we’ll have players coming back from there. an injury and we might be able to give him a real shot.
“So the next five or six games are really crucial, I think.”
A humble and hard-working attitude within the coaching staff also reflects the squad of players who have shown their work-rate in tough competitions in recent weeks in order to take on the best in the division.
Most players in the team have evolved this season, regardless of age, you only have to look at Richard Keogh’s performances to see that, and Critchley thinks setting an example of always learning in his own job helps filter it. this mentality in his team.
“I’m always learning, always improving and coming up against some of the teams, managers and coaches you always learn.
“That’s the beauty of the position I’m in and it comes down to the kind of environment I want to create here.
“I tell our staff that if we want the players to improve we have to improve, it’s always us who have to set the standard for the players and if we don’t learn and improve how can we we expect the players will be too?
“It’s us on a daily basis, we have to push, learn and improve.”
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