Blackpool want their 12th man back, says McAlister

Jim McAlister

Jim McAlister

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Midfield enforcer Jim McAlister says Blackpool are missing their “12th man” for home games at Bloomfield Road.

Attendances are well down on recent seasons due to the continuing fans’ boycott in protest at the club’s ownership.

But McAlister, in his second season at the club, is hopeful some fans will return if form starts to pick up.

The Scot said: “It’s a wonderful stadium we’ve got here, and if it’s not full maybe we’re missing out on that 12th man which sometimes can push you over the line.

“But that’s where we are and that’s what we’ve got to deal with.

“Probably our best performance of the season came on the road at Yeovil. But against Portsmouth, who are a massive club, it was a great performance at home.

“We are hoping if we are successful on the pitch, then some fans will come back and give us some support.”

The 30-year-old made 46 appearances last season, when the Seasiders were relegated from League One, having moved south of the border for the first time in his career.

“A lot of the players came into the club blind last year with everything going on, especially myself coming from Scotland,” McAlister added.

“Now the boys have had a year, we can take it in our stride a bit better. Add to that new boys who came in during the summer as well as the gaffer, and there are a lot of new ideas on the training ground.

“The gaffer’s emphasised the way he wants us to play and I think you can see we are moving forward.

“Games like Carlisle at home (a 2-2 draw a month ago, when Pool trailed 2-0) we wouldn’t have got back into last year. We would probably have ended up losing 3-0.

“I think that shows the character of the boys but we can’t keep leaking soft goals, which mean we have to work even harder to carve defences open.”

Despite speaking of his satisfaction at performances, the former Dundee man knows results must improve.

McAlister said: “I think we’d be a lot more worried if we weren’t playing well. It’s not as if we haven’t been creating chances or haven’t dominated large periods of games.

“But it’s a results business. It’s not like we can get a pat on the back at the end of the game because we’ve played well but not won. The most important thing is the three points.”

A Fleetwood developmental side beat Blackpool 3-2 at Poolfoot Farm yesterday.