It was a good night for Blackpool on Tuesday, as they secured their place in this season’s League One play-offs with a 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers at Bloomfield Road.
Two second half goals from Ellis Simms were enough to secure all three points, and a top-six spot, while taking the on-loan Everton striker to seven goals in 20 league games for the Seasiders.
Blackpool are now set to conclude their regular season campaign with the visit of already-relegated Bristol Rovers to Bloomfield Road on Sunday afternoon, and although it is job done in terms of securing a play-off place, manager Neil Critchley will still have a few things to think about going into that game.
Here, we’ve taken at two dilemmas that the Blackpool boss is now facing in the wake of that latest victory.
Does he rest players?
One issue that Critchley is going to have to consider for Sunday’s game, is whether to take chances with his team selection or not.
With a top six place already secured, Critchley may not want to take a chance on any of his key players suffering injuries that could rule them out of the play-offs, while he also admitted that he substituted three players who had been booked against Doncaster, to avoid them being suspended for the promotion deciders.
It seems therefore as though Critchley may be being tempted to take a safety first approach in the final weeks of the regular, but there is a chance that could backfire if he fields a weakened side and Bristol Rovers claim a win that saps confidence and momentum, meaning the Blackpool boss may need to find something of a balance with his selection this weekend.
Does Bloomfield Road have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
Attacking injury concerns
One area of the pitch where Blackpool do already have some issues to worry about in terms of availability, is going forward.
Wingers Grant Ward and Sullay Kaikai have both been regular features for the club this season, with the latter particularly influential, but neither have played in either of the club’s last two games due to injury issues.
Critchley may want them ready to quickly to ensure they are match sharp for the play-offs, as their availability would help to take some of the attacking burden off Simms and top scorer Jerry Yates in those crucial clashes in the battle for promotion to the Championship.