McDonald tells Blackpool to turn ugly

Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

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Neil McDonald wants his Blackpool side to turn “nasty and ugly” for tomorrow’s long trip to Southend.

A dreadful run of form has seen the Seasiders lose five games on the bounce and fall back into the League One relegation zone.

While their league position doesn’t appear to be a huge long-term worry for the boss, the lack of aggression in his players does.

McDonald said: “At times my team are too nice. We need to be more nasty.

“In certain games we have got into the opposition but at times we’ve sat back and allowed they to play too much.

“We have to stop the opposition more. I keep telling the players they are too nice.

“Hopefully they’ll grow and can be a little more ugly to play against when we haven’t got the ball.

“When we have the ball I want us to express ourselves and play good football, though.

“We’ve certainly got an ugly defender in Tom Aldred and one in midfield in David Norris, but sometimes we have to be in people’s faces.”

Southend, who have lost just one of their last seven games, welcome the Seasiders to Roots Hall for the first time since 2006.

While a win would do his side the world of good, McDonald admits he’d happily take a draw.

He said: “We’d take a point tomorrow if we can’t get a win. It’s about stopping the losing run. That will push us on and allow us to grow in confidence again.

“We have to go to Southend and be much tougher to beat. We also have to defend much better than we have done in the last five games. And at the other end we have to be more clinical.”

Blackpool have managed just 16 points from their 17 League games so far, a return which leaves them 21st in the table.

But McDonald hit back at comparisons with last season’s disastrous relegation, insisting his team are in a much better position.

“We are in the bottom four but it’s only on goal difference,” added the Pool boss.

“We aren’t struggling right at the bottom, so we can draw comfort from the fact a couple of positive results will draw us away from the bottom.

“Every game is difficult and in this league everyone is beatable.

“We have to get back on a run like we had before, when we picked up lots of points.”