Jim McAlister thinks Blackpool are the best team in League One – but only when they score first.
The Seasiders’ results have often been determined by the first goal – when it’s gone against them, they have often gone on to lose.
And ahead of tomorrow’s game against Shrewsbury at Bloomfield Road, McAlister can’t stress just how important making the breakthrough is.
The midfielder said: “I don’t think there are many better teams in the league after scoring first than us.
“We’re organised, defend for our lives and when the chances come along the boys stick them away.”
McAlister has been an almost ever-present this season, playing 29 times in a number of midfield roles.
He missed Pool’s last game against Gillingham a fortnight ago through illness but is expected to return tomorrow. And he feels the competition is something which keeps him on his toes.
“It’s a big squad and the standard is very high,” he said. “Everyone’s a good player in their own different way, so it’s very reassuring that the manager has confidence in me.
“When you come to a new club, whether you are going to play is always in the back of your mind and being a wee bit versatile has probably helped me. It’s always a good string to your bow.”
Despite getting into a number of good positions, McAlister is yet to fire his first goal in tangerine. But he feels that once he finally notches his first, more could follow.
“Throughout my career the goals seem to have come in streaks, so I just need one to go in off me,” the Scot explained. “I ended up with five goals in each of my first two seasons at Dundee.
“In the build-up to David Norris’ goal against Scunthorpe, had I mishit my shot it probably would have gone it.
“It’s something I’m looking to change because it’s not as if I don’t get into the right positions.”