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Liverpool Under-23s boss Critchley named new Blackpool manager

Blackpool have appointed Liverpool Under-23s manager Neil Critchley as their new head coach.

Critchley, who was in charge of Liverpool for two cup ties earlier this season when Jurgen Klopp was away, has agreed a contract at the Sky Bet League One club that runs until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

“I am absolutely delighted to join Blackpool,” Critchley told the official club website.

“I can’t wait to get started, I’m really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead, meeting the players, working on the grass, developing the team and meeting some of the supporters.

“The time I’ve had at Liverpool has been truly special. I’ve been incredibly well supported there from Alex Inglethorpe, the academy manager, and all the staff.

“It’s a truly special football club and it’s the people that make the football club the place that it is.

“It would have had to have taken something equally as special, if not more, for me to even think about leaving.

“But from the conversations I’ve had here, I got a really good feeling about the people, where they want the club to go and how they want it to grow.”

Critchley joined Liverpool in 2013 after six years as academy director at his hometown club Crewe.

The 41-year-old spent four years as U18s coach at Anfield before being taking charge of the U23s in 2017.

Critchley was in charge of Liverpool for a Carabao Cup quarter-final and an FA Cup fourth-round tie this season.

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said: “I would like to welcome Neil as he joins us on our journey and thank Liverpool for the way they have handled our approach.

“The fact that we’ve been able to attract a coach of Neil’s calibre is testament to how this club is now viewed and is a result of the work that has been done here over recent months.

“Neil is a highly-regarded coach who impressed us with his thorough preparation and analysis of the team.

“We want this club to represent the town and community by playing entertaining football, working hard and being organised.

“We firmly believe that Neil can deliver this and lay down the blueprint for our footballing philosophy.”

Blackpool, 13th in League One, sacked Simon Grayson last month after a run of seven defeats in nine league games and put David Dunn and Tommy Johnson in interim charge.

The Seasiders made an approach for Oxford boss Karl Robinson to succeed Grayson, who had been in charge for just over seven months, but that was turned down by their League One rivals.