Aston Villa hire Blackpool manager Neil Critchley as Steven Gerrard's new assistant

Aston Villa hire Blackpool manager Neil Critchley as Steven Gerrard’s new assistant

Aston Villa have hired Blackpool manager Neil Critchley as Steven Gerrard’s new assistant head coach.

Gerrard saw his former assistant Michael Beale, who moved with him from Rangers to Villa Park, join Queens Park Rangers as their new manager on Wednesday.

He has, however, now moved to fill the gap in his backroom staff.

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said: “Neil has been a consummate professional ever since arriving at Blackpool and really bought into what this Club and Town are all about. He has built up strong relationships with the staff, players and supporters and made some special memories for us all.

“Naturally, we are disappointed to lose him, but thank him for all that he has achieved during his time at Bloomfield Road and wish him well in the Premier League with Aston Villa.

“Our primary focus now turns to succession planning and making the best possible appointment to continue taking this great club of ours forward.”

Critchley, 43, took charge of Blackpool in League One in March 2020. He then led to promotion from League One in his first full season in charge.

Blackpool and Critchley stayed up in the Championship last season.

Gerrard knows Critchley from their time together at the Liverpool Academy. The former managed the Under-18s and Under-19s in 2017-18 and the latter coached the Under-18s and Under-23s over an extended spell. Critchley also took charge of Liverpool’s senior side on two occasions in the 2019-20 season.

(Photo: Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images)

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