Blackpool boss “desperate to play two strikers”

Jack Redshaw equalises for Blackpool
Jack Redshaw equalises for Blackpool
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Neil McDonald was full of praise for his Blackpool side, despite seeing them drop back to the bottom of League One after Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Barnsley.

The Pool boss was forced to change his defensive set-up at half-time, after a performance he described as “rubbish” left them a goal down.

But the introduction of Jack Redshaw and a change in formation made all the difference.

McDonald said: “It certainly was a game of two halves. It was like chalk and cheese for us. I thought we were really poor in the first half – we never engaged, we never closed down and we gave them far too much space.

“They had two chances in the half and we let them score one. We decided to change the system at half-time and I thought we really improved.

“It wasn’t about swallowing my pride but I felt we had to make the changes.

“Personnel and systems go together, and if they both aren’t working you’ll struggle.”

Pool fell below Crewe on goal difference, having won just one of their eight League One games. And the manager said that lack of wins was behind his decision to start the game so defensively.

McDonald explained: “We are still a bit apprehensive to get that first home victory and we tried to keep it tight.

“Once we get a few wins I’m desperate to play two up top. I like doing so. I showed in the first three games I want to play two up but we didn’t pick up any points.

“We found a way in the second half and we managed to come back for a draw.”

Connor Hourihane gave Barnsley an eighth-minute lead they held until half-time, when McDonald replaced Jose Cubero and Henry Cameron with Kwame Thomas and Redshaw, who joined Mark Cullen up front. And it made all the difference.

The manager admitted: “I could have taken anyone off to be honest – they were all rubbish – but we showed a lot of character and should have won in the end for me.

“I want us to win matches, but if we can’t it’s important we take a point. We deserved that and probably more.”

The result left Barnsley two points outside the top six and manager Lee Johnson said: “Redshaw made all the difference and I said before the game that Blackpool are a better side than people think.