Blackpool coping with huge pressure, says McDonald

Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

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Neil McDonald has praised his players for handling the pressure of Blackpool’s League One dogfight.

After five defeats in six games left Pool staring relegation in the face, seven points out of nine have given the club a much more positive outlook.

Pool are up to 19th, one point above Fleetwood and Oldham, who have two games in hand. And McDonald is only too aware of how important his side’s recent run could be.

The manager said: “You have to deal with all the stress and pressure of the position we find ourselves in.

“In the last three games the players have been under huge pressure and I think they’ve dealt with it really well. We’ve kept our nerve.

“On Monday at Doncaster we’ve kept a clean sheet and nicked a goal. When you do that you win games.”

Pool now face back-to-back home games against Southend and second-bottom Colchester. And although his side have managed only two points from their last five games at Bloomfield Road, McDonald knows a couple more positive results could leave them in a very strong position.

He added: “We have a bit of momentum now. The season has been like that all the way – winning runs, losing runs and drawing runs.

“It’s vitally important we keep the positive run going now. We can’t switch off.

“We need to keep picking up points in each game we play.”

The Seasiders have maintained a similar style all season, with McDonald intent on remaining tight at the back and taking very few chances. That continued at Doncaster, where Mark Cullen’s late winner separated the two sides.

And the manager hinted it could be the same again against Southend on Saturday.

“It was an easy decision on Monday to pick the same side,” he explained. “I’ve told the players that if they are playing well they’ll keep their place. That’s why I didn’t make any changes.”

It’s been a long and tough season for McDonald, with constant problems off the field blighting his progress.

But he insists: “It was never going to be easy this season. We’ve had good runs and bad runs, but we aren’t giving in.

“We are giving everything we possibly can. Sometimes it’s not good enough but sometimes it is. On Friday against Bury we didn’t play very well but got a point; on Monday we deserved the three points.”