Neil Critchley has reasons to be cheerful after comeback win at Middlesbrough



Posted Sunday, September 19, 2021 by PA

Neil Critchley has reasons to be cheerful after comeback win at Middlesbrough

Neil Critchley has saluted his Blackpool players for emerging from Middlesbrough with a second win inside eight days in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Seasiders had to wait for their first three points following promotion but  confidence is clearly growing after a strong second half showing turned things around, giving them a 2-1 win on Teesside.

Marvin Ekpiteta’s fine touch and turn from Richard Keogh’s delivery led to the defender cancelling out Marcus Tavernier’s eighth-minute opener in the 63rd minute.

And when Middlesbrough centre-back Grant Hall headed Luke Garbutt’s corner into his own net with 12 minutes remaining Blackpool had secured a second win of the season to avoid a slip into the relegation zone.

Blackpool boss Critchley, who felt Tavernier’s goal should not have stood because Dael Fry was offside in the build-up, said: “Two wins in three has been a good week. I thought we were fantastic today.

“To be 1-0 down early, against a strong team like Middlesbrough, with the crowd behind them, we could have gone under but we didn’t. We tried to take the game to them, which is difficult.

“It was (an) unexpected goal from Marvin. I have told him he is playing up front next week. We took a short free-kick, it worked out well and I didn’t know what they were doing. He showed strength, swivelled on a sixpence and finished well.

“We felt the first goal was offside. You see how we defend, we try to stay out (of) the box, we felt he was in an offside position. He said he didn’t touch it in the middle of box, we had a complaint about that. Neil Warnock will have had complaints too, we both do. That’s by the by.

“We can take great heart from coming to Middlesbrough and winning (and) beating Fulham at home last week. I actually think we deserved more from other games actually. We need to show the same spirit and togetherness. We can be competitive in this division.”

Boro boss Neil Warnock was annoyed with referee David Webb for awarding the visitors a free-kick that led to the equaliser, as well as how his side ended up losing.

He felt Onel Hernandez had been fouled but it went the other way with Webb seeing an infringement by Tavernier.

Warnock, whose side have dropped to 16th and lost Anfernee Dijksteel with a hamstring problem, said: “It wasn’t a foul, simple as that. The referee was pretty consistent in not giving fouls but that was not a foul in a million years.

“Having said that, you still have to defend the goal. I think the free-kick is played and nobody runs across to it, I think it was Isaiah Jones. The cross then comes in and Dael gets turned, I am disappointed to concede like that.

“I am disappointed we haven’t won the game. That’s life. Things happen. We could have been out of sight by half-time, the injury to Dijksteel, not having a full-back on the bench, cost us. I thought we were comfortable before that.

“I thought it was a good game. I thought we are a little short on numbers. We can’t get it going consistently, we don’t have that ruthless streak at times.

“I can’t fault them effort-wise, or for their technical ability, but it’s about finding that little bit extra. Until we get clean sheets we won’t get where we want to be. To lose a game from a corner kick is comical really.”

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