Blackpool supporters were left stunned on Thursday evening when the club announced that head coach Neil Critchley had departed to become an assistant to Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.
The Premier League outfit swooped for the 43-year-old after losing Michael Beale, who opted to fill the managerial vacancy at Queens Park Rangers.
No speculation had arisen about Critchley potentially heading to Villa Park before it was confirmed, and it sent shockwaves through the Seasiders’ fanbase, especially after the success he has had at the helm at Bloomfield Road.
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The Tangerines hierarchy must now press on with the search for a new manager before pre-season gets underway later this month – let’s look at THREE individuals that need to be considered
Most well-known for his long playing stint with Burnley, Duff jumped into the managerial game for the first time when appointed manager at his first ever club Cheltenham back in 2018.
His talents were evident when he guided the Robins to the League Two title in the 2020-21 season, and in their first season back in the third tier, despite a small budget, Cheltenham finished in 15th position.
Duff plays a good style of football and rarely moves away from his 3-5-2 formation, which would be a change from what Critchley has been playing in the last couple of years.
The ex-Northern Ireland international is known to be in discussions for the Barnsley vacancy, but the Seasiders would certainly be a step up.
Evatt is no stranger to Bloomfield Road, having spent six years at the club as a player, and he’s been carving out a career as a manager since his retirement from playing in 2018.
Having taken Barrow to the Football League, Evatt joined Bolton Wanderers in 2020, winning promotion back to League One with them in 2021 before a solid top half finish in the third tier this past season.
The 40-year-old likes to play an attractive style of football and has proven to be tactically flexible during his time at the Trotters – he would be a popular appointment due to his love for the club and how he’s doing already as a boss.
Blackpool went down the under-23’s coach route when appointing Critchley, and they could do something similar and appoint an individual with no real experience of managing a first-team.
Former England international midfielder Carrick has amassed a number of years working as a first-team coach at Manchester United and stepped into the manager’s job for three matches earlier in the 2021-22 season following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.
Carrick was unbeaten in his three matches in charge before leaving the club when Ralf Rangnick was appointed as interim head coach, and he may now be looking for his first full-time managerial role – Blackpool could be the perfect start.