Blackpool v Burnley: Neil Critchley insists depleted Seasiders will be ready for tonight's test at Bloomfield Road!

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley may still have to contend with a quite extensive list of absentees for tonight's pre-season friendly against Burnley.

By Dan Black
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 12:18 pm

But the former Liverpool Under 23s coach insists that the depleted Seasiders will be more than ready for the test against their Lancashire rivals at Bloomfield Road.

The 42-year-old ex-Crewe Alexandra midfielder is hopeful of having one or two bodies back available to him, after being without a host of first-teamers for Saturday’s 1-0 win against Carlisle United.

In total, 16 players were absent at Brunton Park at the weekend, the majority of those as a result of the club’s recent Covid outbreak.

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Neil Critchley, Manager of Blackpool, looks on prior to the Sky Bet League One match between Blackpool and Doncaster Rovers at Bloomfield Road on May 04, 2021 in Blackpool, England.

The likes of Daniel Gretarsson (shoulder), Matty Virtue (ACL) and Gary Madine (groin), meanwhile, are out injured.

Critchley, though, is looking forward to taking on Premier League opposition. “It’s a game I think we’ll be ready for,” he said.

“It will be a different test from Carlisle on Saturday. We’ve lost one game with the Rangers game going, we haven’t got many games to go so we’ll see how the players recover from the game at the weekend.

“Keshi took a bit of a knock in the first-half, he got a bit of whack to his quad so we’ll just have to assess him to see how he is.

Josh Brownhill of Burnley shoots whilst under pressure from Rhys Williams of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor on May 19, 2021 in Burnley, England.

“But we’ll be ready to go again. We might get a few players back for what will be a different test, but it’s a Premier League side, a fairly local one and hopefully they bring some supporters and our supporters come out, this nice weather can continue and we can all look forward to a great evening.”

Tonight’s game will be Blackpool’s one and only pre-season friendly of the summer on home soil.

The Championship newcomers, who were promoted via the play-offs last term, were due to take on Scottish giants Rangers last Wednesday, but that game had to be scrapped as they were hit with a coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to victory over the Cumbrians at the weekend, the Tangerines beat Southport 2-0 before losing 3-1 against Accrington Stanley.

Meanwhile, Clarets midfielder Josh Brownhill is also eagerly anticipating the challenge that a pre-season derby will pose.

The 25-year-old made 45 league appearances for Blackpool's West Lancashire rivals Preston North End prior to his move to Bristol City.

Brownhill, who scored twice in a 4-0 win against Salford City in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Barnfield Training Centre, said: “The quicker the games come the better now because when you've had that time off you just can't wait to get back and play football.

“They are there to get you fit and I'm excited for the game on Tuesday night.

“They will be a decent team who have just come into the Championship and will be on a high, as all teams are when they play Premier League sides.

“That’s where they want to be so they will want that challenge and we will just look to keep building and putting the performances in.”