‘Pretty strange’ - Neil Critchley hits back at Ryan Lowe’s frustration at Blackpool team selection

Neil Critchley (Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)Neil Critchley (Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)
Neil Critchley (Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport)
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe said he was ‘disappointed’ by Blackpool’s team selection in the Central League clash

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley has labelled Ryan Lowe’s comments as ‘pretty strange’ - after the Preston North End boss aired his disappointment at Blackpool’s reserve team selection.

The Seasiders beat PNE 0-3 in Tuesday’s Central League clash at Springfields, in which North End named a team made up entirely of youth players. First year pros Josh Seary, Noah Mawene and Kian Best had first team experience of those involved. Blackpool, meanwhile, selected the likes of Marvin Ekpiteta, Andy Lyons, Sonny Carey, Jake Beesley and Dominic Thompson.

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Lowe was not impressed by the opposition’s XI for the match, with him under the impression that the two West Lancashire rivals had agreed to play youngsters in the game. Critchley - who returned to Bloomfield Road this summer and oversaw the midweek encounter - was asked about Lowe’s view in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“I felt it was pretty strange to be honest,” said Critchley. “Ryan was fully aware of what we were intending to do because out of respect, we let them know early last week. We take a lot of time over what is right for our players. We’ve got a lot of midweek games coming up and this was the perfect opportunity for some people to play.

“We let Preston know. Initially, I believe they said they were going to play some of their fringe players and the game was changed to Euxton. We then found out later in the week that they had changed their decision, which is fine, no problem. They said they were going to play younger players - no problem, that’s up to them.

“But our senior players needed to play and at that stage it was too late in the day for us to rearrange another game, so we decided to carry on with our original plan, which they were fully aware of. I’m not sure why Ryan said what he did, in the way he did. Some of our players who are not in the team will end up playing, and they need to be ready. The way to get them ready is for them to play games. Tuesday was the natural time for us to get a game into them. Preston chose to name younger players, that was entirely their decision.”

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