We need a reaction not excuses, says Blackpool boss

Neil McDonald

Neil McDonald

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Neil McDonald says there are no excuses for his Blackpool players and he expects a big reaction at Southend this afternoon.

The Seasiders made the long trip to Essex yesterday on the back of five straight defeats.

While injuries and suspensions have deprived them of key players during that run, manager McDonald doesn’t want to hear hard-luck stories and expects more.

The Pool manager said: “We can make excuses and talk about injuries, but the players we have put on the field are good enough to get better results.

“We are looking for a reaction after the poor performance against Doncaster last weekend.

“Whoever we pick has to step up and be counted until the others are fit. We are looking for a reaction, it’s as simple as that.

“We need to stop the losing run and we need a positive result, whether that’s a point or a win.”

McDonald denied his players their usual Wednesday off this week in an attempt to solve the problems which have seem them slip back into the League One relegation zone.

He’s expected to make changes for this afternoon’s game, with new loan striker Andy Little among those coming into contention.

McDonald revealed: “I’ll be tweaking the side and looking to freshen it up.

“We have to improve in every area, particularly defence, but we also have to express ourselves in attack.”

Phil Brown led Southend to promotion via the play-offs last season and is in his third season at Roots Hall.

McDonald knows the former Bolton boss well – not that it helps his preparations.

“It doesn’t really help that I know him,” admitted McDonald. “He’s been there for two and a half years now and has really progressed Southend in his time at the club.

“He’s been given time to implement all his ideas there and they will be a tough team to play against.

“They have a positive momentum and they’ve started the season well.

”They are competing in League One and it shows what can be done over two and a half years.”

Pool made a slight switch to their pre-match routine yesterday, travelling down in the morning to avoid the Friday afternoon traffic.

McDonald explained: “We didn’t have a day off this week and we travelled early to beat the traffic.

“Players had a break from training on Friday as it was a very long journey and they have a good chance to rest up at the hotel. Hopefully it will work in our favour.”