Blackpool have reappointed Neil Critchley as first-team head coach.

Returning less than 12 months after his original departure, he has signed a four-year contract.

The 44-year-old lead the Tangerines to Championship promotion in 2021 and kept them up in his first season.

However, shortly after signing a new long-term contract he left Bloomfield Road to become Steven Gerrard's assistant at Aston Villa.

The Liverpool legend was sacked within four months and the former Reds' youth coach departed the Midlands with him.

Fellow former Gerrard assistant, Michael Beale, quit Queens Park Rangers to take over Glasgow Rangers in December, and Critchley was brought in.

A run of one win in 12 saw the R's slide down the table and he was sacked by February.

Now going full circle, Blackpool have made Critchley their third manager since his first departure less than a year ago- back in the third tier.

Admitting he made a mistake, he told the club: "It feels special to be back and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the task that lies ahead.

“Looking back on my departure 12 months ago, I didn’t handle that in the manner I should have done. I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Simon previously, and I thank him for this wonderful opportunity to come back to this special football club.

“I look at the Club now, and it has had a bump in the road but there is no reason why we can’t get back on track. It’s up to us – and I include myself in that - to reset and become who we were as a group again. 

“Collectively, the staff, players and supporters have shared some special moments together, and I know we all want to experience that again, which is what we will be working towards.”

Reading are yet to appoint a new manager since Paul Ince's departure in April.