McDonald out to end away blues

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald wants his Blackpool squad to start by breaking one of his targets for the season today – winning away from home.

The Seasiders failed to find a victory on the road all last season, and haven’t picked up three points away from Bloomfield Road in 16 months.

McDonald takes charge of his first game as Pool boss today with a long trip to Colchester, and he’s set a challenge to his players.

“Last season we didn’t win any games away from home, so we’ve an easy target there already which we’ve set the players,” he said.

“We want the supporters to enjoy travelling to watch their team play.

“We have a lot of players making their debuts in the tangerine shirts, and they’ll be wearing those with pride.

“Pre-season is behind us now and everyone is excited to get going.

“I’m hoping everyone is ready and I’m happy with the players we’ve brought into the club.

“Competition for places is good and this afternoon we’ll find out who’s going to start.”

Blackpool’s summer has once again been blighted by a number of off-the-field problems and difficulties in the transfer market.

With a new manager, new squad and a new division it’s difficult to judge just how Pool will fare.

But McDonald thinks this afternoon could be a good gauge: “I went to watch Colchester last week and have an idea of how they play.

“I’ve watched six or seven League One teams already this summer so I have a good idea of where we are at.

“We’ll see where we are actually at when things kick-off today.

“We have a squad of 21 players and only one isn’t available and that’s John Herron.

“He took a bit of a kick during pre-season and his knee has swollen up, he’s the only one who isn’t available.”

Last week McDonald claimed he hopes for another few experienced players to his squad, and since added former Wigan skipper Emmerson Boyce.

And the Pool boss now seems to have changed his tune, insisting he now has more than enough.

He said: “I’ve got experience now in the right places.

“I have players who are inexperienced but only in game time and they are looking forward to adding minutes to their CV.

“We also have players who are desperate to prove a point and can’t wait to get going.

“I’m happy with my squad.”