Fresh start paying off for Blackpool

Blackpool manager Neil McDonald
Blackpool manager Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald hailed the improvement in his Blackpool squad, saying they’ve come on ‘leaps and bounds’.

After a dreadful start to the season which the manager described as ‘rock bottom’ Pool have responded with six games without defeat, moving two places above the drop zone.

This weekend they travel to Bury with expectation rising, and around 2,000 fans set to make the trip.

And McDonald is delighted with his team’s progress.

“A number of the players have come on leaps and bounds now,” he said.

“The players are starting to get to know each other now and are getting to grips with the league.

“All we want in return is the support which, to be fair, we are getting. The players are happy at the moment.”

McDonald is quick to point out his new squad shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush as those of recent seasons.

He has signed 18 players since arriving in June and hopes his new charges can make names for themselves at Bloomfield Road.

The boss said: “This is a brand new team, I don’t like talk of the past, we aren’t the team who were relegated or who got to the Premier League.

“We are trying to forge a history for ourselves here.

“The young squad we have here are doing well, they really are giving their best.”

Saturday’s win against Crewe saw Pool climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since the opening day of the season.

It lifts a bit of the gloom around Bloomfield Road after almost 18 months of consistently losing games.

While McDonald realises Pool are far from the finished product, he feels the rise up the table will motivate his players.

“Being out the relegation zone means we are doing something right,” said McDonald.

“The players are working so hard for this club during the week on the tactical and the physical side.

“Now we are getting our rewards.”

After Monday night’s FA Cup draw handed Blackpool a trip to Barnet, the Seasiders now have four games on the bounce away from home.

This weekend’s trip to Bury is followed by a re-arranged clash against Bradford three days later before Barnet and the DW Stadium and Wigan await in the JPT trophy.

Pool have to wait until November 14 for their next home game, when Doncaster visit Bloomfield Road.