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Neil Critchley bemoans Blackpool’s game management despite narrow win over Hull

Blackpool v Hull City – Sky Bet Championship – Bloomfield Road
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Neil Critchley believes his Blackpool side need to learn to see out games more comfortably after they were made to sweat before sealing a 1-0 win over Hull.

Gary Madine converted a 31st-minute penalty after reported Nottingham Forest target Josh Bowler was sent tumbling by Jacob Greaves.

That proved to be the winner but the Tangerines had goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw to thank for the three Championship points.

Grimshaw saved George Honeyman’s low shot and twice denied Keane Lewis-Potter in the first half but saved his best for second-half stoppage-time as he brilliantly blocked Tyler Smith’s effort before bravely denying Randell Williams at the far post.

Blackpool ended a run of just one win in 10 matches and improved on one-goal defeats to Middlesbrough and Huddersfield over the past week to climb to 12th in the table, but Critchley is desperate for better game management.

“If they had scored at the end, I am not sure what I would have done,” he said. “We don’t make things easy for ourselves, do we?

“It is so hard to win a game in this division and you have to do it at both ends of the pitch.

“We didn’t see out of the game any better than we had earlier in the week and we relied on our goalkeeper to win us the game with two moments of brilliance.

“We deserved it today but over the course of the week, had we come out of the three games without a win and only picking up a point it would have been a travesty.

“If we want to be looking up in this division, that game should have been 2-0 or 3-0. At 1-0 it was comfortable and they never got near our goal in the second half.

“They opened the game up quite early and we could have finished it off. It was a crazy end to the game but it should not have got to that.”

Bowler’s trickery caused Hull fits all day and Tigers boss Grant McCann was left frustrated his side’s attempts to contain their former loanee.

“The goal was disappointing for us,” said McCann. “We prepped on Josh Bowler and we know him inside out.

“A lot of what has come from him this season is dribbling and cutting in on his left foot. We shouldn’t have let it get to that stage.

“We were not at our best and didn’t get going. It was one of those scrappy games.

“We had a good chance with Tyler Smith. We said to the boys pick up the energy and aggression in second half.

“We had two unbelievable chances at the end we had to score. There is no question about that.”

Hull are reportedly in the midst of a takeover by Acun Ilicali, dubbed ‘the Turkish Simon Cowell’ due to his role on the country’s version of The Voice, but McCann is not getting distracted.

“I’m focused on the football and that’s it,” he added. “For me, that’s not my issue at the present time. For me, it’s a question about football.

“Is it a concern for me? No. Is it a worry for me? No. Is it a worry for the players? No. I’m just focused on the game.”

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