Pool must make first tackle count

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald has set his players a target ahead of this afternoon’s game against Swindon – win your first tackle.

Blackpool’s rapid start to the game against Chesterfield on Tuesday set the tone for the 2-0 win, their first home victory since January.

And McDonald wants his players to start in similar fashion this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

“It’s all about winning that first battle, winning that first tackle and getting confidence,” he said.

“At Shrewsbury we didn’t do that, on Tuesday against Chesterfield we did.

“I was proud of them on Tuesday, it was the best we’ve played.”

As well as guessing McDonald’s starting line-up each week supporters have struggled to predict the formation Pool will line-up in.

A number of different tactics have been used so far, but the Pool boss seems set on one he thinks suits his side best.

He said: “Do we over complicate it by changing the formation again?

“We’ve used a few different formations but it’s about going back to basic now.

“4-4-2 seems to suit our players and we look better with two up front. The Chesterfield management commented how difficult our strikers (Mark Cullen and Jack Redshaw) were to handle.”

Off-the-field problems have once again blighted Blackpool’s progress so far this season, although Tuesday night’s win against Chesterfield at least lifted them above Crewe and off the foot of the League One table.

Despite all the negativity around, McDonald is convinced things will come good.

“I truly believe we’ll be OK,” he predicted.

“In patches we’ve played very well and that has given me enough hope to think we’ll be ok.

“We haven’t turned the corner yet and we have a lot of hard work to do yet.

“But if we perform like we did on Tuesday we’ll win more games than we lose.”

Pool welcome under pressure Swindon to Bloomfield Road, who themselves have failed to win in their last four games.

Boss Mark Cooper led the Robins to the play-offs last season, before being comfortably beaten in the Wembley final by Preston.

And despite them sitting 14th this time around, McDonald feels they will be a threat.

He said: “They’ve had some good results and are a good team.

“They got to the play-offs last season and we will have to be on our guard.

“We thought coming into the two games against two play-off sides from last season that it would be tough, but we managed to beat Chesterfield on Tuesday.

“Let’s see if we can make it six out of six this afternoon.”