Blackpool boss backs Aldred and appeals to fans

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald has leapt to the defence of Tom Aldred, claiming Blackpool fans are wrong to question his commitment.

The defender responded to a section of Pool supporters at the end of last weekend’s defeat at Barnet, after chants slamming the struggling side.

While most players simply headed for the dressing room at the full-time whistle, Aldred faced his critics before being pulled away by goalkeeping coach Steve Banks.

Now manager McDonald has backed the former Accrington man, who was named PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for December.

The Pool boss said: “For people to question Tom is wrong. He gives everything for the football club.

“They were singing ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ when one of our players has just been voted PFA Player of the Month.

“We have to accept the criticism because they pay their money.”

McDonald came under fire this week after questioning Pool’s travelling supporters, asking whether they “ever actually support the team away from home”.

After a few days to calm down and take stock, McDonald stood by some of his comments but seemed much more sympathetic towards fans.

He said yesterday: “I wear my heart on my sleeve. We were gutted to lose, and just because we were playing 10 men didn’t mean we didn’t try.

“All I ask is for the fans to come and watch the team and get behind the team as it makes a huge difference.

“We see the difference at home. They’ve got behind the team and the home form has been excellent. I am just asking for the fans to get behind the team for 90 minutes.”

Relations between the Seasiders and their supporters have been at breaking point all season, with many turning their back on the club

Attendances at Bloomfield Road have been the lowest for a decade, with protests against the owners a regular occurrence.

McDonald said: “The fans have issues, of course. I understand a lot of the fans who come to away games don’t go to home games.

“They are venting their anger and I understand that considering the issues they have with the club. All I’m asking is that they support the players.”