‘FA Cup gone!’ – Liverpool fans react as Jurgen Klopp loses key coach ahead of Chelsea trip

Neil Critchley has left his role as Liverpool U23’s coach just a day before the senior team face Chelsea in the FA Cup.

The 41-year-old who took charge of the first team for the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield has taken up a position at League One side Blackpool.

In an interview on Liverpoolfc.com, academy director Alex Inglethorpe reacted to Critchley’s departure.

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“It’s a bittersweet day in many respects,” he said. “Obviously losing a person and professional of Neil’s calibre is something that is a disappointment, but at the same time we have great excitement and joy that he has been given this wonderful opportunity.

“We see this as a reflection on the Academy as a whole, that it’s an environment where players and coaches have a pathway to progression and self-improvement.

“Blackpool want Neil because of the work he’s done at Liverpool and it shows to everyone within our system that if you work hard and work smart then rewards are there.

“Neil epitomises the best qualities of a modern coach: leadership skills, intelligence, compassion and a hunger for individual and collective improvement.

“Blackpool are very fortunate to have him and we wish him well.”

As mentioned above, Critchley took charge of the senior team in the last round of the FA Cup and was also in the dugout for the Carabao Cup loss at Aston Villa late last year.

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