Ravi Neil Critchley waves to his players as Blackpool defeated Doncaster Rovers to secure a place in the Ligue 1 play-offs with a game to spare

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Blackpool 2-0 Doncaster Rovers: Everton Loanee Ellis Simms carries a brace as excellent …

This follows a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Doncaster Rovers, which was handed to them by a superb brace from Ellis Simms.

It’s a magnificent achievement for the Seasiders to finish in the top six, having struggled after their disastrous start where they lost six of their first nine games.

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Since then, and despite injuries, Covid and suspensions, Critchley’s men have remained consistent to now sit third in the table ahead of Sunday’s final campaign game against Joey Barton’s already relegated Doncaster Rovers.

“I am delighted. It has been an incredible effort on the part of the players,” said Critchley.

“I just told them in the locker room that after the start of the season we had, to be third in the league with – and I know a lot of managers will say the same thing – the injuries that we do, we had Covid and we kept going, we changed rosters a few times, we adapted to all the things that were thrown at us to play well in a consistent way – it was exceptional.

“It’s fantastic that we’re in the play-offs, but we’re not done yet.

A delighted Neil Critchley with skipper Chris Maxwell at the final whistle

“I’m really proud of the whole group. From day one we said it was going to be a real team effort because of the season we were going to face.

“The players stepped up when they weren’t playing, they played out of position when we changed formation, they were amazing.

“The consistency we showed in Game 9 of the season has been exceptional and I can’t help but think about ‘what could have been’, but we still have a few games to go now and I hope for one. other. “

Pool only needed a point from their last two games, but they guaranteed a play-off finish in a certain style with a complete win over Doncaster.

Nonetheless, Pool’s head coach was still not entirely satisfied.

“In the first half I thought maybe the opportunity had come a bit for us, but we turned the ball too many times for my liking,” said Critchley.

“Our possession play and control in games recently has been very good, but tonight it wasn’t.

“Again it’s a bit of knitting but if you give Doncaster the ball they can hurt you.

“We were in very promising situations and we didn’t take advantage of it and returned the ball.

“At half-time we asked the players to play more passes, to be a little calmer on the ball and the opportunities will present themselves. We did it.

“We created a lot of chances in the second half and you think the longer he stays at 1-0, if we don’t punish them we risk getting stung.

“Fortunately, Ellis scored the second goal and 2-0 was a true reflection of the performance.”

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