Winning football will winfans over, says boss

New Blackpool manager Neil McDonald
New Blackpool manager Neil McDonald
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New Blackpool manager Neil McDonald made it clear he is well aware of the club’s problems – and insisted that putting a winning team on the field is the only way to win over the disillusioned Seasiders fans.

McDonald, Pool’s sixth manager in two and a half years, also revealed he had spoken to his predecessor Lee Clark before agreeing to take the post.

Over the last few years it’s been downhill. I think it’s fair to say that

The 49-year-old insists he is the man to turn things round at Bloomfield Road and halt a slide which has seen Pool fall from the Premier League to the third tier in four years.

“Over the last few years it’s been downhill. I think it’s fair to say that,” McDonald said.

“But when you’re a coach and a manager, you feel you can take the world on.

“The football team is my priority.

“I’ve had a team before at Carlisle (where he was manager in the 2006-07 season) which played good football and which people came to watch. I’ve got to try to do that here.”

And McDonald, who has spent the past four seasons as assistant manager at West Ham, made it clear he will be taking a hands-on role in a bid to get Pool winning again.

He continued: “I’m a tracksuit manager. I like to be on the training ground to show the players what I’m on about, what systems I want to play.

“But it’s all about winning, isn’t it? Whether it’s long ball or tiki-taka, we have to find that mixture whichever way we can to win games.

“If we can do that, we’ll change people’s perceptions.”

Pool finished rock-bottom of the Championship with a record-low points total of 26. They don’t have enough professional players to fill a team and are under investigation from the Football League and Football Association over a pitch invasion which forced the abandonment of their last fixture of the season against Huddersfield – but McDonald insists the job was still an attractive one.

“Why would anybody not fancy the job?” he asked. “The challenge is to get the team in a winning situation and try to play some good football to entertain the supporters. Why would any manager not want to do that?”

Some Pool fans have vowed not to return to Bloomfield Road until the Oyston family have sold the club.

But McDonald is convinced positive results will change that.

He added: “I’ve seen the headlines, of course.

“You sometimes hear about big clubs, ambitious clubs not doing so well on the pitch.

“Sometimes you get relegated and that’s what’s happened here.

“You’ve just got to tell yourself, ‘I can turn that round. Let’s play some football, some winning football and get everybody back onside.’

“If we need a siege mentality to get back to where we need to be, we will.

McDonald insists his philosophy is backed by fellow Tynesider Clark, who has been critical of the club since his resignation four weeks ago .

But McDonald said: “I spoke to Lee and he said all the fans want is a winning team.

“He says he had a couple of results here and the place was bouncing. We’ve got to try to get the place bouncing again.”