McDonald: How Blackpool learned to win

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald believes his Blackpool players are now earning the right to win games.

The Seasiders go into today’s match at Coventry looking to continue their fine form, which has seen them win three matches on the bounce.

Not many people saw the turnaround coming, especially after manager McDonald described his squad as “not good enough”and at “rock bottom” following the defeat at Shrewsbury three weeks ago.

But the boss has revealed a change in philosophy from his players led to the improvement.

McDonald explained: “I think the players have realised they have to stop the opposition from playing.

“When we win the ball it gives us a chance to express ourselves. We are now working very hard when we haven’t got the ball and that’s giving us the right to play.”

Blackpool haven’t played in League One for a fortnight, after Bradford’s international call-ups saw last weekend’s scheduled encounter postponed until next month.

And McDonald feels the break has done his players the world of good.

He added: “The weekend off gave a few people time to recover and gave us time to work really hard on the training ground.

“The break also allowed me to watch Coventry last weekend (at Fleetwood, where they scored a last-minute winner) and they are a very good footballing team.

“They are in the top six and so far we haven’t taken anything from a top-six side, so we are looking to do that.”

Town won only one of their first nine league games under McDonald but their upturn in form pleases the manager.

“After picking up only one point from the first five league games, I’m delighted to have 10 from the last six,” he said.

“We’ve now got a little bit of form and a little bit of consistency.”

Pool could make as many as eight changes to the side which beat Port Vale last time out in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, with several regulars expected to return.

That would mean leaving out players who performed well and that’s a headache for the manager.

“Players are stepping up now who haven’t done so far,” explained McDonald.

“The ones who haven’t stepped up in the league so far really did so in the Port Vale game, so I see them in a different light now.”