Beaten boss McDonald defends Blackpool team changes

Blackpool manager Neil McDonald looks on
Blackpool manager Neil McDonald looks on
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Neil McDonald insists he doesn’t regret making wholesale changes as his woeful Blackpool side crashed out of the FA Cup in the first round.

The Seasiders rested six players and were comfortably beaten 2-0 away to League Two Barnet.

It was a toothless display from the stand-in side but the manager believes he made the right call.

Pool boss McDonald said: “I don’t regret making the changes. I have a very thin squad and I had to protect my players going into the Doncaster game on Saturday.

“We should have performed much better and I still wanted to win the game.

“The utmost respect was given for Barnet and for the FA Cup – we just didn’t perform.

“It’s vitally important we have our strongest team against Doncaster.”

First-half goals from Tom Champion and Michael Gash settled a north London tie in which chances were few and far between.

And McDonald was less than happy with his charges. “When your players don’t win their individual battles or play to their potential, then you’ll get nothing out of a game,” he said.

“We got what we deserved. We never won the ball, never passed the ball and never stopped them from playing.

“And I’m not talking about one or two – I’m talking about all 11. I couldn’t find any positives at all, not one.”

It completed a dreadful week for the Seasiders, who lost three games in eight days going into tomorrow’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy northern quarter-final away to a Wigan side who crashed out of the FA Cup 4-0 at Bury.

Pool have conceded from set-pieces in all three games and McDonald added: “There was another goal from a corner (at Barnet). We have to put our bodies on the line.

“We had people at the front post who were supposed to head it clear, and we had a marker who didn’t mark.

“Now everyone will throw the ball into our box and expect to score.

“If we don’t win the first header or stop the cross, then we won’t win games. We didn’t stop the Barnet crosses all day.”