Blackpool FC appoint Neil McDonald as new boss

Neil McDonald is the new Blackpool manager.

Neil McDonald is the new Blackpool manager.

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Blackpool have unveiled Neil McDonald as their new manager.

The 49-year-old, who spent four years as Sam Allardyce’s assistant at West Ham, has joined the Seasiders on a one-year rolling contract, the club announced today.

Neil McDonald joins from West Ham, where he was assistant manager.

Neil McDonald joins from West Ham, where he was assistant manager.

Head of youth coaching Richie Kyle has been promoted to first team coach, while Paul Stephenson and Paul Crichton are both heading for the exit.

McDonald was widely tipped as the favourite to fill the vacant spot at Bloomfield Road following the departure of Lee Clark last month.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for me – it’s a massive football club in my opinion and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s a challenge that’s going to be difficult – wherever you go it’s always difficult – but it’s a challenge that I’m really up for and really excited about.

Wherever you go it’s always difficult – but it’s a challenge that I’m really up for and really excited about.

Neil McDonald

“I’ve got to try and put my stamp on the football club and get it back to where it was.

“I’ve got to try and stabilise it first of all after what happened last year with relegation and change people’s minds to try and get the confidence back and push the club on to pastures new.”

A statement posted on the Blackpool FC website today said: “Blackpool Football Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Neil McDonald as the club’s new manager on a one-year rolling deal.

“McDonald, 49, joins the club from Premier League side West Ham United, where he has spent the past four years as assistant manager to Sam Allardyce.

Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

“Prior to that he worked alongside Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers, as well as with Iain Dowie at Crystal Palace and Gary McAllister at Leeds United. 
“A highly-respected coach and the holder of a UEFA Pro Licence, McDonald managed Carlisle United to the club’s highest placed finish for 20 years in 2007, before briefly heading to Sweden to save Östersunds FK from relegation.”

The statement added: “McDonald, a former player with the likes of Newcastle United and Everton, will be joined on his coaching staff by Head of Youth Coaching Richie Kyle, who has been promoted to the role of first-team coach.

“In light of further changes to the coaching staff, Paul Stephenson and Paul Crichton both leave the club.”

McDonald spent much of his 15-year playing career at Newcastle United and Everton but spent his final years at local rivals Preston North End.

His only experience as a manager in England was a year at Carlisle, from 2006 to 2007, in League One, where he won 20 out of 50 games.

However, he briefly took charge at Swedish club Ostersunds the following season and was Blackburn’s caretaker boss late in 2009 while Allardyce underwent heart surgery.

He then followed Allardyce south after the pair were sacked in 2010.