Southern: Bad signings and poor strikerate cost McDonald Blackpool job

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Keith Southern says Neil McDonald’s Blackpool departure was “inevitable”.

The Seasiders midfield hero became a regular at Pool games after announcing his retirement at the start of February, and he pointed at poor recruitment and a lack of goals as McDonald’s undoing.

Last night’s confirmation of his departure came as no surprise to Southern, who said: “It was inevitable really. No-one will be shocked he’s left his position.

“I think he gave an indication after the game against Peterborough that change would be coming.

“It was probably just a case of seeing whether he’d be sacked, resign or a bit of both.

“It’s taken over a week but it’s a decision everyone expected really.”

McDonald was up against it from day one at Bloomfield Road, after inheriting only six professional players from Lee Clark last summer.

He quickly assembled a squad to start the season, though one which turned out to be way short of the quality needed and Pool eventually finished third-bottom, four points from safety.

Southern thinks poor transfer dealings cost McDonald in the end.

He added: “Blackpool haven’t been good enough this season and that fact was proven with relegation.

“They haven’t scored enough goals and I think that cost them their place in League One.

“I think recruitment is key and that was also poor under Neil McDonald.

“I think the loan signings who came in were poor and didn’t affect the group in a positive way. He never got the right combination with his front lads.”

The search for a successor starts this morning, though it is thought that Karl Oyston has already spoken to potential candidates.

Southern feels it will be a tough job for whoever takes charge. “They’ve been relegated and have had numerous managers in a short period of time,” he said.

Southern who spent ten years at Bloomfield Road as a player and added: “They are going into the basement division, so it’s a big and tough challenge to whoever comes in.

“Confidence is low and the fanbase is dwindling, so it’s a tough decision for whoever takes the job.”