Blackpool have today (Tuesday 23rd May) reappointed Neil Critchley as head coach on a four-year deal following the club’s relegation from the Sky Bet Championship.
Critchley left Blackpool 12 months ago to become Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Aston Villa and was then appointed Queen’s Park Rangers head coach in December. This appointment at QPR did not last long as the 44-year-old was sacked just two months later after winning only once in 12 games.
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 Sadler (Blackpool owner) 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.”
Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said, ‘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.’
Blackpool finished 23rd in the Championship this season with Critchley’s successors Michael Appleton and Mick McCarthy both having brief tenures.
Stephen Dobbie, put in interim charge after McCarthy left Bloomfield Road last month, returns to his previous role within the development squad as senior professional development phase coach.