Blackpool’s search for a manager ended today as they appointed Liverpool Under 23 coach Neil Critchley.
He actually takes the title of Head Coach and replaces Simon Grayson who left at the beginning of the month. It is believed that Blackpool were thwarted in their attempts to speak to Karl Robinson, Ritchie Wellens and QPR assistant John Eustace.
However, the appointment of Critchley has been welcomed as a break from the normal names being linked with jobs in League One and League Two.
The 41-year-old twice took charge of Liverpool’s first team this season, for a 5-0 Carabao Cup defeat by Aston Villa and for their controversial FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury, which they won 1-0. He joined the Red’s academy in 2013 after previously working as academy director at Crewe.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he was happy for his man to make the step up to senior management.
“It’s a nice challenge for him, a nice opportunity. He wanted to take it, he asked the club and we said, ‘Yes, of course,'” the German continued. “It’s really nice because it shows it’s possible that you can make your way as a youth or Under-23 coach as well, that’s always what we wanted to have.”
Whilst Blackpool fans may steady themselves and reserve judgement on the bold but calculated appointment, Liverpool fans have been reacting to the news that their well-regarded Under 23 man has now left Anfield.
He will be sadly missed of course but what an opportunity for him which I hope he succeeds in.
— ♿Rachel Ellis♿ (@RleEllis) March 2, 2020
I'm not crying, you are
— Jordan (@Jordan_LFC19) March 2, 2020
Sad news but good luck ?
— Becky (@BecsLFC) March 2, 2020
as a Liverpool supporter, i have to wish him well
as a Prestonian, i still want Blackpool to lose every game
— Tony Standing (@TonyDJTStanding) March 2, 2020
All the best Neil .. Blackpool are lucky to have you and thanks for what you’ve done with the kids .. and thanks for that 3rd round #YNWA
— Dowsey (@fbateallthepies) March 2, 2020
Best of luck to him in his new job
— Kieran (@kieranjoyce482) March 2, 2020
You were more than just a coach but a true guardian. We love you Neil Critchley best of luck on your new task @BlackpoolFC
— Compassion Karikari ???? (@Compassionkg) March 2, 2020