19 August 2023

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley rues lack of cutting edge after latest stalemate

19 August 2023

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley admitted his side are lacking in the final third after they were held to a third successive goalless draw.

The unbeaten Tangerines shared the spoils with Leyton Orient at Bloomfield Road, the promoted visitors claiming their first point of the season as a result.

Home striker Shayne Lavery came closest to finding a breakthrough, hitting the post in the 56th minute and seeing a late effort flash wide, while Orient goalkeeper Sam Howes was also in fine form.

And Critchley knows his side will have to find their cutting edge if they are to start turning draws into victories.

“Similar to the other night [against Port Vale], we’re just lacking that last bit in the final third,” he said.

“That little bit of quality, intelligence, a bit of luck, something falling for us.

“It is a frustrating 0-0 in a game we’d really be looking to have taken three points from.”

Despite having the better of the chances overall, Blackpool were grateful to goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw for keeping out Ruel Sotiriou’s header as Orient threatened.

Grimshaw also denied Theo Archibald from the edge of the area just after the half-hour mark as the hosts recorded a fifth clean sheet in as many matches in all competitions this season.

“I thought we started the game really well, we were on the front foot with a lot of regains,” Critchley added.

“We created good chances, forced a great save from the goalkeeper, and then we didn’t quite maintain that.

“They had a couple of chances, one through our mistake, one through a good bit of play from them.

“So the game wasn’t quite the way you’d want it to be.”

Critchley’s opposite number Richie Wellens hopes the hard-fought result turns into a turning point for his side while he felt they could have had more, with a penalty appeal turned down and George Moncur spurning a late opportunity.

“That was more than a fine display,” Wellens said.

“I think at times, in patches, we were really, really good.

“Our season starts now with the first point and first clean sheet.

“Defensively, we performed a lot better than what we have done in recent weeks in terms of our intensity getting to the ball, making sure there is no free headers or no free shots in or around our box.

“There a lot of positives to take from that.

“I think we should have won the game. We had the two best chances, one where Joe Pigott is about to put it into the net, and I think it’s a penalty, and George Moncur, with five or six minutes to go. We should score that.”

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