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Neil Critchley slams Nuno and other Premier League managers wanting FA Cup replays scrapped

Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley slams Nuno Espirito Santo and other Premier League managers wanting FA Cup replays scrapped.

Nottingham Forest looked like heading out to the Seasiders at this stage for a second straight year when they conceded twice, but goals from Nicolas Dominguez and Morgan Gibbs-White got Forest level.

Nuno spoke on the result, performance, FA Cup replays and rearranging plans following the 2-2 draw on Sunday afternoon.

On FA Cup replays, Nuno said: “It is a reality. Everybody is aware there is a big congestion of games and fixtures are every day. It is something they have to look at.

“If you ask me, I think it should be finished on the day – extra-time, penalties and whatever. Allow the players to have a little bit more time to recover. Premier League teams are suffering with that. You know the issues with injuries, and one of the things is the amount of fixtures we are exposed to.”

Critchley hit back at top flight bosses who have urged to scrap FA Cup replays, insisting they have the resources to cope after his Blackpool side drew with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

He said: “I think it’s such an achievement to cause an upset. So if you get a second chance to do it, then we’d rip your hand off of that.

“So I can assure you we’re delighted we’ve got a replay, and, yeah, it’s a busy schedule, but so what? Get on with it. We’ve… sorry… I think, again, like we’ve played, I think this is something like our 36th game this season.

“Well, the Premier League teams haven’t played that. They get international breaks. They get time off. We don’t.”

Nuno spoke more on the game in his post-match interview, as per Nottingham Post: “We started very badly and very slowly. We conceded too easily. The first half was not good at all. It was not the way we wanted to start the game. We didn’t create too many things.

“We conceded too easily, that was the really negative part. It made our task harder.

“Credit to the way we reacted. We had clear chances but in the end we couldn’t finish it today. It is a disappointing moment. But the good part is we have a second chance to do it.

“I haven’t looked back at the game yet. We will look back at it and try to understand why (the first half was flat).

“Blackpool were well organised, with the back line always blocking the central part of the pitch. But it was too slow, so we need to improve on that.

“We knew it required a reaction from us because the first half wasn’t good. I think we reacted well. The second half was good. We wanted to create the momentum of the game and be on the front foot, and we did that.

“The reaction was there and it was positive. At the same time, we had a lot of negatives in the game and we have to look at that.

“We have to reorganise that. When we decided that (going to St George’s Park) we looked at what was best for the team. Now what is best for the team is to start preparing for the replay in Blackpool – that is the priority.

“It is what you have to do. The priority is what is best for the team, and what is best for the team now is to have a small break and then start preparing for the replay.

“It changes the plan. Now we have to reorganise and we won’t get a break because now the priority is the replay in Blackpool. We have to reorganise our plans.

“Morgan is playing good and is scoring. It was a tough week for him because he struggled in the week. He had a dead leg in the final moments against Manchester United. It was painful and he struggled with that.

“But he did really well and it’s a beautiful goal. Credit to him because he made a big effort to be here and the way he played was amazing.

On picking a strong team: “Every game is important and we decide based on what we want for the games. It is not about being strong or less strong, it is the players we decide to go with. We have to make changes and now again we have to try to find solutions.

“But the FA Cup means a lot to us and our fans. The way they supported us throughout the game shows we want to go back to Wembley. But to go back to Wembley we have to solve these things and we cannot play the way we did, because the first half was poor.”

“I thought it was a really exciting cup tie,” Neil Critchley said, via blackpoolfc.co.uk.

“That was our aim before the game to make it as difficult as possible and you carry that hope that you can, but you know it will be extremely difficult and it was. We were playing against a top quality team at full strength and we made it exciting.

“We had to defend resolutely in the second half and you know that moments are going to have to go your way in the game and they did. We nearly caused an upset, not quite, but we’ve got a fantastic replay to look forward to now.

“We knew the standard of the Premier League players is now on a completely different level, you look at some of the results over the weekend of Premier League teams comfortably beating Championship teams – it’s getting harder to cause a cup upset. We came with a plan, we wanted to frustrate them and then counter, I thought our two goals were really well taken goals, if we had got to half time at 2-0, you never know.

“It was a great atmosphere, a great cup tie and what a fantastic football club. They provide you different problems and ask different questions to how teams normally do in games we play, you have to concentrate and they test you physically and I thought our lads stood up to that really well.

“Jordan Gabriel has lost a lot of weight over Christmas because he’s been really ill.

“So for him to play the full game is great, I thought he was tiring near the end a little bit as a lot of the players were which was understandable. And then he pops up inside the penalty box, I can assure you we didn’t work on that at all, but it was a great goal and a great way to start.

“Before the game we knew him on that side with his pace and power and coming back to his old Club, football has a funny way of throwing up these stories. I didn’t pick him to get a goal, but he defended well against a top player in Callum Hudson-Odoi and then against Nicolas Dominguez when they were swapping sides.

“He was great in one vs one situations and considering he’s been ill and out, for him to last the whole game he was terrific.

“I said at half time it was going to be a long 45 minutes.

“We had to be brave, keep trying and trying to pass the ball in the moments we got the ball. If you don’t, you’re sitting and suffering and you’re hanging on in there, leaning against the ropes and you’re getting pummelled.

“You’re going to need moments, you’re going to need your goalkeeper to make a great save which he did and they hit one past the post. But we defended corners well and it took an outstanding strike to get them a replay.

“We had to make changes because it’s a busy schedule, we’ve got another game on Wednesday night. Ideally no one wants a replay, I’m sure Nottingham Forest don’t but we’re always competitive and when it’s 2-2 at Forest we want to get the draw or the win and create a great memory for the future.

“It doesn’t last long and you don’t get chances to make memories too often, so who knows what can happen, there is something magical about this competition and why can’t we create a memory and progress further.”

SEE MORE: Fans hit back as Thomas Frank and Mikel Arteta calls for FA Cup replays to be axed

Here’s how fans reacted as Neil Critchley slams Nuno and other Premier League managers wanting FA Cup replays scrapped…

@AO1865: Spot on, I personally hate managers that complain about the tradition of the English game and that includes our own now which is extremely disappointing.

@JamesG121212: He’s bang on. As a forest Fan all lower league clubs deserve a replay. This Prem entitlement is bollox.

@LucasHutchy180: A league one clue will play a minimum of 51 games a season, a premier league team will play a minimum of 40 games a season shut up and stop moaning, and they’ll play those 40 games with squad twice the size of league 1/2 clubs

@winoian: He’s spot on, Nuno shouldn’t have moaned about replay after today’s match, Blackpool deserved it.

@saljack5: Forest fan here, and I think he’s spot on. Maybe not so much with further rounds but the third round should be protected for the sake of the tournament.

@yarwoodD: Well said Critch

@TheGothSpecial1: Makes me angry the PL clubs moaning about the amount of games they have to play, you never hear lower league clubs complaining as they rely on income from fans attending games and prize money from cup competitions and having replays helps them

@halftimepies: It’s our own fault, the game was so slow in the first half it was played at walking pace, clearly #nffc failed to either adjust or more importantly speed it up to PL levels of pace, nobody to blame but ourselves, took being 2 down to wake up a weakened side #nffc #UTMP

@WiggumCharm: Respectfully disagree [with Nuno]. Can’t ask to change grand traditions of the game just to suit us. Blackpool earned the right to have a crack at #NFFC on their own turf. Extra gate money, possible extra TV/Round 4 money for them. Going to a replay is entirely our own fault. That’s that…

@OfficialBrzndz: Bit disgusted to see our club now saying this. Words cant even explain how much they help smaller clubs, also how many memories are made through replays. If you dont want a replay then get the job done in the 1st leg. Completely unfootballing to even suggest this.

@omairsadiq9: We play 46 League games, Carabao Cup, FA Cup and the EFL Cup yet you rarely here us complain about the schedule. Get on with it and just play the replay without complaining

@AO1865: Not a chance Nuno, Blackpool have earned their shot at a further gate revenue and a chance to progress through a replay, should have got the job done today if we were that bothered.

@lancs_rob: Hate to agree with the @BlackpoolFC manager but he is absolutely spot on with this. Sick of prem managers often not from the uk telling us what to do and how we should organise our domestic cups

@MrR1g4t: Spot on is Critchley… sick of hearing PL clubs moan about the schedule & number of games. 25man squads.. unlimited 21s players(bare in mind they pinch the best talent). Here’s a novel idea, use & rotate your playing squad…. 👍

@cooksleft: Spot on. The teams with the most money and resources and thus best placed to manage multiple games are the biggest moaners.

@Scoz1985: Exactly this, nobody from the EFL moans about fixture pile ups. League 1 & 2 teams play a minimum of 51 games after all the competitions.

@samprior1882: He is absolutely spot on. Always frustrates me how the prem managers moan about schedule when the football league teams have it a lot worse

@CiaranBWFC2002: He’s bang on there, we play 46 league games, plus League Cup, FA Cup and EFL Cup games. Getting bored of the moaning from PL clubs tbh. Most play far less games, and are in one less tournament than League One and Two clubs. Just trying to devalue the tournament imo 🤷🏻‍♂️

@chrislepkowski: 732 teams compete in the FA Cup, not just 20 Premier League clubs. If playing an extra game or two is cited as derailing a club’s season then maybe the fault lies with the players and/or coach – rather than a 143-year-old competition.

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