No deadline day deals but McDonald’s happy with window work

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald says he’s done “good business” during the January transfer window.

The Blackpool manager had hoped to add at least one more signing before last night’s 11pm deadline but didn’t manage to squeeze a deal over the line for Burton keeper Dean Lyness.

But McDonald insists he’s happy with the five deals he completed last month.

The Pool boss insisted: “We’ve done some good business in the window that has strengthened the squad and added competition for places.

“I have the ability to change things and I now have the personnel. I really think we have the quality in the squad for the rest of the season now.”

As well as signing Oldham duo Danny Philliskirk and Mark Yeates, Pool secured a long-term deal for Hull’s Will Aimson, signed Watford striker Uche Ikpeazu on loan and extended the stay of Bolton full-back Hayden White until the end of the season.

It’s the three permanent deals which pleased the Blackpool boss the most.

McDonald said: “It was important for me that we signed players not on loan but on long-term deals.

“I think we’ve done well with that in January. We’ve signed Philliskirk, Yeates and Aimson.

“We now have lots of scope with loans if we get some injuries.”

Although the manager suggested deals could be done, yesterday was quiet at Bloomfield Road, with no incoming or outgoing players.

Pool also missed out on a potential cash windfall when Matt Phillips’ move to West Brom fell through. When the winger was sold to QPR in August 2013, it was agreed Pool would receive 10 per cent of any sell-on fee above £5m.

Pool’s recent improvement in form made transfer deals less urgent for McDonald, who is delighted with the business he’s done.

Having started the season with just six players, he said the progress made should not be underestimated.

He said of his recruitment: “I think it all takes time. From the start of the season at ground zero, we have been building.

“Don’t forget it’s always difficult to attract players to a relegated team. We brought the players in and had a slow start but we have picked up again now. We are a little more consistent now, which we needed to be.”

The only former Blackpool player to move on deadline day was defender Gary MacKenzie, who joined Notts County on loan from Doncaster.