Blackpool boss bids to follow lead of northern rivals

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald wants his Blackpool side to follow the example of League One rivals Oldham and Barnsley as they prepare for today’s crunch clash at home to Bradford.

While John Sheridan’s Oldham side remain in the drop zone and two points behind Pool, three wins and two draws from their last five have given the Latics a real chance of survival after they looked dead and buried.

Barnsley have also been on an incredible run of form, eight wins in 10 lifting them from relegation trouble to 10th in the table.

Now manager McDonald hopes Blackpool can put a run of their own together.

“We don’t want to go through February having picked up just one point,” said the boss, having seen his side’s goalless draw with Oldham sandwiched between 3-2 defeats by Shrewsbury and Swindon.

“We are on to the next wave now and are focussing on the task against Bradford.

“Oldham are a good example of how a few good wins can change everything.

“Before that Barnsley showed what you can do when they won six on the bounce. We must get into a little run ourselves.”

Following just four games in February, Pool face seven in March – a sequence which will determine whether they stay in League One next season.

And McDonald hopes a win this afternoon can kick-start a climb away from danger.

He said: “We are on a decent run of form but we must get back to winning ways as quickly as we can.

“We must get points on the board now, knowing we have a very busy month coming up.

“We could do with that bit of a cushion and three points on Saturday could give us that.”

Bradford arrive at Bloomfield Road in good form of their own and just four points from the play-off places.

A James Hanson header was enough to beat Pool when the sides met at Valley Parade in November and McDonald is anticipating another tight game.

“I wouldn’t expect Bradford to play any other way,” he said. “They are a very physical side, who get the ball forward as quickly as they can. They play to their strengths.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to do and it will be a fascinating game.

“The chances have been coming and we have been sticking them in the net, although we are still missing some good chances.

“We need to continue to put the ball in the back of the net.”