McAlister’s rallying cry to Blackpool

Jim McAlister
Jim McAlister
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Jim McAlister has called on his Blackpool team-mates to go back to basics ahead of tonight’s visit to Port Vale.

The Seasiders have lost their last six games, conceding 14 goals in the process.

And McAlister thinks they have to go back to the solid set-up which saw them go six unbeaten last month.

“We need to get back to clean sheets and doing the basics well,” the midfielder said.

“That’s what we were doing well when we went on the good run. Clean sheets were the catalyst of that.

“If you look at games like Coventry, where we went and ground out a 0-0, that’s what we need to start doing again.”

To make matters worse, Pool haven’t found the net in the last five and have tumbled to second-bottom of League One.

McAlister added: “Ultimately, if you don’t score goals then you don’t pick up wins.

“I felt our defending was much better on Saturday at Southend and we looked much more like the side which did well on the good run.

“As a unit, we were pressing well. We were winning the ball back not individually but collectively. We need to do that again at Port Vale and improve in front of goal.”

The Scot has missed just one of Pool’s 18 league games so far this season, playing in a number of positions across the midfield. In recent weeks, he’s been used on the right and left wings.

He’s happy to do so to help the team but stated: “I’m a central midfielder. That’s where I want to play.

“But the manager has asked me to do a job on the wing and I’m happy to do it. I can play in a number of positions, which I suppose is a handy tool to have.

“You’re obviously not as involved out wide as you are centrally but it’s important that we are disciplined. I think me playing out there helps with that.”

McAlister has never faced Vale before, having missed last month’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie, but he hopes the team can take confidence from that 2-1 win.

He said: “We were in for training on Sunday, and that helped us to get the legs going and our heads right.

“We’ve been to Vale Park and won, and we need to take positives from that.

“If we can take the defensive positives from Saturday’s game into tonight’s, then we’ll have a decent chance.”