Will Watt: Journalists have to ask questions, it’s our job

Blackpool's manager Neil McDonald

Blackpool's manager Neil McDonald

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I think it’s fair to say I won’t be on the list when Neil McDonald writes his Christmas cards next month.

Each week the Pool boss appears to have taken offence at the questions asked - but he really shouldn’t, I’m simply doing my job.

Forgetting anything else, Blackpool lost 4-0 on Tuesday night against a side who lost 4-0 themselves the previous weekend, this on the back of Pool crashing out of the FA Cup against lower league opposition three days earlier.

McDonald is perfectly justified to pick whatever team he likes, and may well be proven right if Blackpool cruise to a vital victory tomorrow against Doncaster, but the questions still need to be asked.

When 277 fans spend a fortune to travel to Barnet on Saturday and 446 made the trip to Wigan on Tuesday to watch an understrength Pool side concede six and score none - then I owe it to them to ask some pretty difficult questions.

As you will know by now, The Gazette’s only access to the manager comes post match, a five minute slot directly after games by the side of the pitch.

Local radio lead the interview, then at the end I get a few questions to get a week’s worth of content from the manager.

On Tuesday after five minutes of talking about the game and insisting he had no regrets, it was my turn to speak to McDonald, here’s how it went:

WW: You have no regrets, is there an apology for the 400 plus fans who travelled tonight?

NM: Why?

WW: Well because you played an understrength side for the second game running and lost them both.

NM: Yes, we’ve lost two games.

WW: So you don’t feel the need to apologise?

NM: Do you want me to apologise to you?

WW: No, not to me, to the fans.

NM: Listen, it’s not for the lack of trying. We’ve lost two games but I’ve said before the league games are the most important.

To say the response of Blackpool’s manager was frosty is an understatement, but in the cold light of day I don’t think the questions were unreasonable, people paid fortunes to support their team on those two away games.

Either way, my message to McDonald is to remember journalists, like him, are just doing their jobs when they ask these questions.

Personally I know nothing about McDonald as a guy, unlike other managers I’ve worked with there’s been no attempt to build a working relationship, so it’s certainly nothing personal, we just want to know what’s going on.

When Blackpool win, The Gazette are fully supportive, when Blackpool don’t win, we’ll want to know why.

Let’s hope the line of questioning is a positive one after tomorrow’s game, no-one would enjoy that more than me.