Blackpool reappoint former manager Neil Critchley after relegation from the Championship

‘It feels special to be back and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the task that lies ahead.’
Neil CritchleyNeil Critchley
Neil Critchley

Blackpool have reappointed Neil Critchley as head coach on a four-year deal ahead of their return to League One.

The 44-year-old returns to Bloomfield Road 12 months on from his shock departure when he left the club to join Steven Gerrard’s coaching staff at Premier League Aston Villa. Critchley was also briefly in charge of Queens Park Rangers.

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Critchley said: “It feels special to be back and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the task that lies ahead.

“Looking back on my departure 12 months ago, I didn’t handle that in the manner I should have done. I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Simon previously, and I thank him for this wonderful opportunity to come back to this special football club.

“I look at the club now, and it has had a bump in the road but there is no reason why we can’t get back on track. It’s up to us – and I include myself in that - to reset and become who we were as a group again.

“Collectively, the staff, players and supporters have shared some special moments together, and I know we all want to experience that again, which is what we will be working towards.”

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Owner Simon Sadler added: “After an extensive recruitment process, which included many interviews with various candidates over the past few weeks, I kept coming back to Neil as being the right man to take us forward.

“He gained promotion with us, kept us in the Championship in our first season back in the division and has an impressive record when it comes to developing players. He was the clear front-runner for the position and I hope everyone gets behind him and the squad as we push to get back into the Championship.”