Blackpool pair McDonald and Taylor could team up with Big Sam for England

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Two former colleagues with strong Blackpool connections are in the frame to be reunited with Sam Allardyce when his appointment as England manager is confirmed - Neil McDonald and Mark Taylor.

Allardyce is unlikely to bring any of his Sunderland backroom team with him, having accepted a series of club appointees when he arrived last season.

Some of his favoured deputies are available, such as Neil McDonald and Mark Taylor.

Taylor first worked with Allardyce at Bloomfield Road over 20 years ago (see page 59), while McDonald has assisted Big Sam in three previous managerial roles.

McDonald branched out alone last summer for a disastrous season as Blackpool manager and said of his old friend: “I think it is a fantastic opportunity for Sam and it is well deserved.

“He was very disappointed when Steve McClaren got it, but he has got on with his life and he has improved himself all the way through.”

McDonald said to dismiss Allardyce as a long-ball manager was unfair.

“When we played the big teams and we always used to make it difficult for them when they came to our place or even when it was at their place, they were upset because they couldn’t beat little old Bolton, Blackburn or West Ham. The reputation of playing long-ball is a load of rubbish really.”

“Sam has plan A,B and C, and if he needs to use them he will use them. Let’s not forget he has the best players and he has shown he can get the best out of not the best players.

“Hopefully they will express themselves so much they can push forward and emulate the team that won the World Cup in 1966.”