Three Blackpool players who could benefit from a fresh start after Neil Critchley leaves
Blackpool are preparing for life without Neil Critchley and that comes with a reassessment of the squad’s players.
A new boss arriving in Bloomfield Road, once the dust has settled on Critchley’s departure, brings with it an element of excitement about the unknown. It could also give some members of the team, who may have found themselves lower in the pecking order, a fresh start to impress and forge long-term careers with the Seamen.
Neil Critchley has always spoken of the quality he felt within his group on the Fylde Coast and it will be interesting to see how his departure affects individual performance heading into next season. There were some who, while valuable members of the playing staff, as is the case with everyone at the club due to the close bond created, may not have gotten the consistent playing time that they would ideally have and a new head coach may well invigorate some in the ranks.
READ MORE: The manner of leaving Critchley leaves a bitter taste, but Blackpool’s ambitions must show up in the hunt for managers
We’ve looked at three players who could well benefit from a fresh start under a new number one.
Yates has had a frustrating 2021/22 campaign. 20 goals in 44 appearances in the League One promotion campaign saw Yates as Neil Critchley’s figurehead that season, but towards the latter stages of the most recent campaign regular starts have been few and far between . Still, eight goals in 23 starts is an impressive tally for a troubled 2021/22 season.
With just one goal for the Tangerines since Boxing Day 2021, it’s clear the former Rotherham United man’s performance levels have plummeted, especially with competition from Shayne Lavery, Jake Beesley and Gary Madine for those two forward positions. .
Despite the goalscoring touch that has let him down lately, there is no doubt that the overall quality Yates can possess on this day and many will think that if he achieves some consistency in his performances next season, he can still impact the club at Championship level. Maybe a new manager at the helm can figure that out.
Casey’s arrival from Leeds United came with the 21-year-old a highly valued prospect at Elland Road, with the possibility of Championship first-team minutes of course a good opportunity for the youngster. However, those minutes never quite pan out with partial roles and only three begin to see Casey further down the pecking order at Bloomfield Road.
Loan interest came for Casey in January but the moves never materialized in the end and it is expected that perhaps consistent minutes on loan elsewhere next season would be enough to prove his worth in the premiere. Blackpool team. With a potential clean slate and a new person at the helm, perhaps Casey can show the kind of ability that has excited Leeds in their development and make a play for more first-team playing time next season.
Thorniley looked much improved when recalled from his loan spell with League One Oxford United, signing up for Fulham on his return in what was a sink or swim atmosphere, rising to the occasion . He played an important role in the later stages of the Ligue 1 promotion campaign by also filling in when needed.
14 appearances in the 2021/22 league season have shown Thorniley can be a reliable performer at this level, but the natural order has always been Richard Keogh and Marvin Ekpiteta in a back four when all are fit. With Keogh turning 36 this year and with injury problems for the experienced centre-half in 2022, it was always going to be important that Blackpool had options at centre-half – perhaps Thorniley could prove to the new starter that he should start more regularly in this area. Case.
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