Pressure piles on Critchley as Blackpool host MK Dons

By: Liam Gilsenan

Football is a cruel and ruthless business and managers will always take the brunt of a poor run of form.

With the pressure building on Tangerine manager Neil Critchley he knows that nothing, but a win will do as his side welcome MK Dons to Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool have been extremely underwhelming so far in League One this season finding themselves 23rd in the table with only one win so far in seven league games.

A massively disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Charlton on Tuesday night saw the voices calling for Critchley to face the sack grow louder and fans have been voicing their displeasure in the football being shown.

Christine Seddon, the chairperson of the Blackpool Supporters Trust, believes that the game against the Dons could decide the fate of the Tangerine boss.

“With Blackpool sitting next to the bottom spot in League One and MK Dons just above us with one more point, tomorrows game is certainly a six pointer. Blackpool’s hugely disappointing start to the season, after so much optimism preseason, is heaping the pressure on manager Neil Critchley. Supporters are complaining and some are already calling for his head.”

Seddon also believes that the team lack a leader on the pitch and that Critchley needs a big three points.

“It remains to be seen how owner Simon Sadler will react if this inability to get results continues. Whilst there has been some improvement in the last two games, we lack leadership on the field, look defensively naïve and can’t really see where the goals are going to come from. If we are to believe in the Neil Critchley project, only a win will do on Saturday.”

Critchley holds the same record that Simon Grayson held when he was dismissed by the Seasiders in February, one win in twelve, but the Seasiders did make 17 signings in the summer and it is inevitable that these players will need time to gel and work together.

Sam Fielding, host of the Seasiders podcast, believes that three points will be picked up the struggling Blackpool.

“MK Dons are a good side and despite where they are sitting in the league table, they’ve been taking their chances unlike Blackpool, who have created the most chances in the league, can convert their shots into goals. I can see Critchely’s men picking up the three points which will give them some confidence after a tricky start to the campaign.”

It is true that Blackpool haven’t struggled to create chances, it’s the struggle to put them away which both Seddon and Fielding noted. In fact, only one of the Tangerines strikers have hit the back of the net this year with Gary Madine having one goal to his name.

Fielding continued by stating that fans need to give the manager time but conceded that time is running out.

“With Blackpool losing their last game to Charlton there’s pressure building on the Seaside. With 17 new players arriving in the summer new boss Critchley needs time but it’s a results business and a bad defeat this weekend to MK Dons could cause even more frustration for the fanbase.”

So, it’s all set to for a six pointer tomorrow on the seaside. Critchley and his lads have a point to prove, or three, to an expectant and hopeful fanbase, but if another loss occurs how long will the hierarchy wait to pull the trigger on Critchley.