McMahon wants Pool to thrive on pressure

Blackpool players Tony McMahon, Kirk Broadfoot, David Goodwillie and Andy Halliday get into the spirit of things for Sport Relief
Blackpool players Tony McMahon, Kirk Broadfoot, David Goodwillie and Andy Halliday get into the spirit of things for Sport Relief
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Tony McMahon believes Blackpool have the right characters to handle the pressure and drag themselves away from the bottom of the Championship.

The defender returned from suspension on Tuesday to play a huge part in the vital 1-0 win over Millwall.

And the 27-year-old says his team-mates showed their mettle when it mattered to end an 18-match winless run.

“It’s been a real test of everyone’s character,” he said. “But this is why we all play football. This is pressure and we thrive on it.

“We knew only three points would do on Tuesday and we did a job. It felt brilliant to win.

“Everyone stood up for the battle and those three points were massive for us.

“It probably wasn’t the best game but who cares? It’s been a long time since we won, so I suppose there was relief at the end.

“We needed to stick together and get through that period, and that’s exactly what we did on Tuesday.

“Everyone was out on their feet at the end but we dug deep.”

Many were shocked to see McMahon line up on the right of midfield on Tuesday, instead of his usual full-back position.

It’s a role he’s played only once before but McMahon was only too happy to do the job Barry Ferguson asked of him.

He added: “I played there once for Middlesbrough against Sunderland but that’s it. Right midfield was a new position for me.

“The manager pulled me aside on Monday and said he wanted me to do a job out there. He knows what he’s going to get from me. He knows I’ll work my socks off for the team.

“It was a surprise because it’s not my natural position but it’s not about me – it’s about the team.”

It was McMahon’s first win in seven games for Pool since his January move from Sheffield United, though he always felt the team would turn their fortunes around.

“We’d drawn three and lost three of the first six I played, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest we aren’t a good side,” said McMahon, who had a loan spell at Bloomfield Road from Middlesbrough seven years ago.

“We have some good players in the dressing room and we’ll keep going until the end,” he said.

“I don’t think the results have been a reflection on the performances in the games I’ve played.

“I’m not trying to say I’m the difference – I’m definitely not but I gave everything.”