McDonald: I won’t throw away my number one chance

Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

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Neil McDonald says a return to being an assistant doesn’t interest him – this is his time to be a number one.

The Blackpool manager finally spoke out about rumours linking him with a move to Sunderland following the appointment of long-time pal Sam Allardyce.

Many speculated the chance to move to the comfort of the Premier League would be too tempting for McDonald to turn down, but he is adamant his days of assisting are behind him.

“Being a number one is something I want to do,” said McDonald.

“I’ve been a support to Sam Allardyce over the last six years but this is my turn to be a number one.

“I’m working hard at Blackpool to put things right on the pitch. It’s flattering to be linked, that means you’re doing a decent job.

“Sam is a brilliant fella to work for and I’m sure he’ll get Sunderland out of the mire they are in.”

It’s believed Allardyce and McDonald had informal chats about the role earlier in the week, leading to five days of speculation about his Blackpool future.

After Southend boss Phil Brown turned down the job yesterday, many thought an approach for McDonald would follow. But the boss, who played for Sunderland’s rivals Newcastle, said there had been nothing.

He insisted: “There’s been no contact from Sunderland. I’m happy to continue as Blackpool manager.

“I have a brilliant relationship with Sam Allardyce so people are putting two and two together to get five.”

“It’s took me a long time to become a number one, this is my turn.

“I’m proud to be Blackpool manager.”

It means McDonald will be in charge as his side travel to Coventry tomorrow looking to make it four wins out of four.

He’ll have an almost fully fit squad to chose from and is expected to make as many as six changes from the side which beat Port Vale in the cup last time around.

The likes of Jim McAlister, Emmerson Boyce, Jack Redshaw, Mark Cullen and Brad Potts are all expected to return to the starting line-up.