The key quotes from Neil Critchley's post-Fulham press conference
Photo by Getty Images/Alex Davidson

Blackpool's upturn in form continued on Saturday as the Seasiders secured a very credible point from their visit to Championship pace-setters Fulham.

They suffered an early setback when Aleksandar Mitrovic prodded home the opener just six minutes in, but the visitors at Craven Cottage managed to hold firm until Josh Bowler's equaliser sprung them into gear, and they could have gone on to win the match in a second-half which was balanced on a knife edge.

Head coach Neil Critchley addressed the media after the match — these were his most noteworthy quotes.

On adjusting after a slow start

13 places separated the sides ahead of kick-off but, if the first ten minutes were anything to go by, the gulf in quality looked a whole lot larger than that, with Fulham proving untouchable in the build-up to Mitrovic's goal and threatening on a number of other occasions.

Even so early on in the match, Critchley and his players needed a rethink. Having sat deep in the opening exchanges, they opted to press their hosts with more intensity thereafter — and it worked an absolute treat.

"I felt after the first ten minutes we became far more on the front foot and more aggressive and our mentality was a lot better," Critchley said. "We took the game to them, which is a very difficult thing to do against such a good side who sit top of the table."

On the quality of the opposition

There was logic to keeping things tight at the back at the beginning of the encounter. The trouble with adopting a more aggressive approach against an attack as formidable as Fulham's is that they have the quality to unpick defences however aggressively they press, and leaving too many spaces in behind would only make it even easier for them to strike.

Ultimately, it's an approach which requires relentless focus and resilience to work. Critchley's players made sure his gamble paid off in the end, and the head coach was delighted with how his side coped against opponents who have made a habit of embarrassing teams at this level.

"You know if you get it wrong that they are technically good enough and they're intelligent enough with their movement to get in behind you and get in. But I've got to say, we were relatively comfortable after Mitrovic had that shot on the rebound."

On a tremendous performance

Blackpool's tactical switch-up was enough to turn this contest from a case of one-way traffic into one of the more tightly contested matches witnessed at Craven Cottage this campaign, and the visitors arguably had the better of the chances after Bowler's deserved equaliser.

All-in-all, this point reflects both a brilliant display from the Seasiders and just how far the club has come since Critchley's appointment to the helm — in his closing remarks, the head coach was keen to emphasise how much credit his players deserved for such a performance and result.

"Both sides hit the bar and we looked dangerous on the counter-attack," he said. "To come here and restrict Fulham and stop a team that's scoring bucketloads at the moment, I thought that was a great effort, absolutely outstanding from the squad."

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