Ben Burgess: McDonald is hard to defend

If only the Blackpool players, management and owners could show as much togetherness, drive and passion as those long suffering Seasiders fans did during Saturday's pre-match protest.

Friday, 6th May 2016, 5:59 am
Blackpool Fans march to Bloomfield Road last weekend

It was a great turnout with around 3,000 supporters desperate to be heard and desperate to have their football club rescued from the downward spiral that has consumed it for the last few years.

Even the most die hard Blackpool fan would struggle to defend Neil McDonald’s first season at the helm.

Whilst McDonald refused to speak to the written press post-game, he certainly had plenty to say about spoiling Wigan’s promotion party pre-match.

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Wigan are a team with three ex Seasiders in Donovan Daniels, David Perkins and Michael Jacobs; how they must regret their decisions not to stay at Bloomfield Road!

The game was billed as a ‘must win’ for Blackpool but in my opinion it was always going to be an uphill struggle to beat a team of Wigan’s ability and leadership.

The game against Fleetwood was the one McDonald and his men should have gone all out to win.

Back to Saturday and, after a decent first half, I’m sure a few hopes were raised that just maybe the boys in tangerine could sneak a win.

Good teams, even average ones, can finish you off in the blink of an eye and as soon as the home team switched off they were punished savagely. To lose 4-0 at home in a game that should mean so much to the players is just unthinkable.

The one shining light for everyone at Bloomfield Road is the complete inability of Fleetwood to put their own run of results together.

Their 3-1 defeat to Walsall on Monday has provided a stay of execution until ‘Showdown Sunday’.

Nothing but a victory at Peterborough for McDonald’s men will suffice; even then a draw for Fleetwood at home to already condemned Crewe will see consecutive relegations for Blackpool.

I cast an envious eye towards Turf Moor last week as Burnley secured their second promotion to the Premier League in three seasons.

The Clarets kept faith with their manager and invested some big money for the likes of Andre Gray, Joey Barton and James Tarkowski.

The result was a 23-game unbeaten run and a relatively comfortable return to the riches and glory of the top division. Blackpool were so close to doing similarly until they lost to West Ham in that play-off final.

That should have been the signal to spend money to improve the team and show the ambition that could have kept the manager that had already performed miracles.

Instead it proved to be the catalyst for where we find ourselves now.

Ian Holloway left, the core of the team was disbanded and, more significantly, the wage budget began to be reduced.

A similar sporting miracle to Blackpool’s promotion six years ago, finally arrived on Monday. Leicester City won the Premier League that everyone else seemingly wanted to throw away.

It was a fantastic achievement from a team of real men and character.

Each of those Leicester players have had tough times in their career; each has had to move down the leagues to prove themselves.

So when the ‘experts’ were saying they would ‘blow up’ and fail to seal the title, I’m sure it was just water off a duck’s back.

Leicester in the Champions League against Barcelona next season will be a fantastic spectacle, just as it will be to see Tottenham there as well. I’m a big admirer of the job Mauricio Pochettino has done at Spurs.

They have been unfortunate that, due to Leicester’s incredible run, their achievements have gone relatively unnoticed.

I’d certainly put money on Spurs finishing above Leicester next year.