QPR appoint former Blackpool, Aston Villa and Liverpool man as their new boss - with two ex-Seasiders joining his backroom staff

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Former Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has been appointed the new manager of Queens Park Rangers.
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The 44-year-old replaces Michael Beale for the second time in just seven months, having also replaced him as Aston Villa’s assistant back in May.

The vacancy at Loftus Road became available at the end of November after Beale’s appointment as Rangers’ new boss.

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Critchley returns to work after being sacked alongside Steven Gerrard by Villa in October.

That came just five months after his surprise decision to leave his job as Blackpool’s head coach to become a number two at Villa Park.

Pool’s former head coach has agreed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Hoops and is joined by two familiar faces in the dugout.

Mike Garrity, who was his assistant at Bloomfield Road, leaves his role as number two at Lincoln City to join him as does Iain Brunskill, who was also briefly part of the setup at Blackpool.

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Critchley's first game comes against Preston at Deepdale next weekendCritchley's first game comes against Preston at Deepdale next weekend
Critchley's first game comes against Preston at Deepdale next weekend

Critchley’s first game in charge will be against Blackpool’s fierce rivals Preston North End on Saturday.

“I am very excited and can’t wait to get started,” Critchley said of his appointment.

“It is a huge honour for me and I would like to thank the owners, Les Ferdinand and Lee Hoos for entrusting me to lead the club.

“I would also like to thank Paul Hall and his staff for the hard work they have put in during the interim period.

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“Now I am looking forward to getting to work with the players and staff. I already know some of the players from working with them previously and I am aware of a number of them, having followed their careers from afar.

“There have been some good foundations laid here and now it is my job to work as hard as I can to build on that.

“We want to move the club forward and ensure we are competing at the top end of the Championship table.”

Critchley led the Seasiders to promotion via the League One play-offs during his first full season in charge.

The former Liverpool academy coach then oversaw an impressive first season back in the Championship, as Pool finished in 16th on 60 points.

QPR make the trip to Bloomfield Road in March.