First goal today is vital, says Blackpool boss McDonald

Emmerson Boyce
Emmerson Boyce
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Neil McDonald has set his Blackpool players a target today – to score first.

The Seasiders go into this afternoon’s home clash against Doncaster having lost four games on the bounce, failing to score in the last three.

Manager McDonald feels the first goal was key to all those defeats and he said: “The first goal against Doncaster is vital.

“If we can get it, it will relax everyone and put a spring in our step. It will allow us to express ourselves.

“We need to be a bit more clinical and we really need that first goal.”

After fielding understrength sides in the last two games, which left Pool out of all this season’s cup competitions, McDonald will return to his first-choice line-up today. Mark Cullen, David Norris, Brad Potts and Jack Redshaw will all be back.

The Pool boss explained: “I am looking for improvement all over. We’ll have a much stronger team out – the strongest I can pick.

“We are looking forward to carrying on our excellent home form. We have some momentum at Bloomfield Road and it’s been good to send our very supportive and patient home fans happy.”

Today’s opponents may only be a point above the Seasiders in the League One table but they have been handed a new lease of life under manager Darren Ferguson.

He has won three out of his five games in charge and McDonald is aware of the visitors’ feelgood factor.

“When a new manager comes in, everyone always ups their game and I think that’s happened at Doncaster,” he said. “Whether they are in a false position or not, they have some good players but I’m sure we can exploit their weaknesses.

“We need to go back to being solid at the back. We are unhappy with how many we’ve been conceding.”

Blackpool hope to welcome Emmerson Boyce back after injury and were awaiting news on Martin Paterson’s hamstring strain.

McDonald added: “Martin had a bit of a tight hamstring but could be back this weekend. I’m very hopeful Emmerson will be fit. He’s had a bit of a problem with his groin and that’s why he didn’t play in the last two games.”