Mac still confident of victory in five-club battle

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald

Shrewsbury remain in the League One relegation battle after last night’s defeat at Walsall and Blackpool manager Neil McDonald is still convinced his side can escape.

Victory in their game in hand would have secured safety for Micky Mellon’s Shrews, but their 2-1 defeat means they remain 19th, four points above Blackpool and the drop zone, and two points above Fleetwood Town.

They are among five clubs still battling to avoid the final two relegation places, all with two games to play. Chesterfield and Doncaster, who face relegated Crewe on Saturday, are the others.

Walsall’s win also means leaders Wigan still require a point at Blackpool on Saturday to be absolutely certain of promotion, and the Latics could be crowned champions at Bloomfield Road if they avoid defeat and achieve a better result than Burton.

McDonald’s Pool side may well have to beat Wigan and Peterborough to stand a chance of survival, something the manager is adamant they can do. “The belief is still there, of course it is,” he said.

“It’s not in our hands but we have to make sure we give it our best shot. We need six points out of the two games.”

McDonald selected a much more attacking-looking line-up for Saturday’s goalless draw at Fleetwood but again came under fire from supporters.

And the Pool boss hit out at those who say his style is defensive. He added: “We try to win every game. The players believe in the team I pick. I thought we made positive substitutions at Fleetwood.

“Everyone’s trying to rally. If we win our two games we can keep our fingers crossed (over results) elsewhere.”