McDonald: Early kick-off will help us

Blackpool's manager Neil McDonald
Blackpool's manager Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald wants to use tomorrow’s early kick-off to pile the pressure on Blackpool’s relegation rivals, writes WILLIAM WATT.

Concerns over crowd trouble, with planned protests and a huge travelling support, prompted Wigan’s visit to Bloomfield Road to be brought forward to 12.30pm.

Shrewsbury, Doncaster and Chesterfield all play at 3pm, while Fleetwood must wait until Monday lunchtime to play at Walsall live on Sky, meaning victory over Wigan would lift Pool out of the bottom four for 48 hours at least.

McDonald said: “If we win it puts the pressure on all the teams kicking-off at 3pm.

“Chesterfield and Shrewsbury aren’t safe yet and Fleetwood have two more days to think about their game, and they could be behind us.

“Kicking off early at least means we won’t be worrying about everyone else. There will be no whispers about results elsewhere. We can just concentrate on the game.

“All we have to concentrate on is beating Wigan to put pressure on the rest of the teams around us.”

Blackpool and Doncaster are favourites to take the remaining two relegation places, with their survival no longer in their own hands.

Not even two wins will guarantee Pool safety, though McDonald is sure six points will keep them up.

He said: “If we win both games I’m convinced we will be safe. We have to believe that – if we don’t we may as well give in.

“It’s strange having an early kick-off but it gives us less time to think about everything. We have to start with a real tempo, like we have in the last few games.

“We just need to get that first goal to settle everyone down. A really good, top performance is needed by everybody.”

Despite taking just one point from their last three games and not scoring in any of them, McDonald is, as ever, remaining positive.

“It all boils down to the Wigan game now,” he said. “We’ve looked at Wigan. We need to win and we have to believe we can beat them.”

“We’ve looked at Wigan like we also do, and we have to believe in what we are doing.