McDonald rues worst home display by ‘fragile’ Blackpool

Neil McDonald and Darren Ferguson on Saturday
Neil McDonald and Darren Ferguson on Saturday
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Neil McDonald described his Blackpool side as “in a fragile state” after Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Doncaster saw them crash back into the relegation zone.

The Seasiders rolled over for Darren Ferguson’s rejuvenated side, who scored both their goals in the first half and were comfortable winners.

And after three defeats in eight days stretched their losing run to five, the Pool boss was worried about his struggling players.

“We are in a fragile state, I suppose,” McDonald said. “This was the most disappointed I’ve been all season, especially at home. I thought we’d turned a corner.

“We were outplayed. We didn’t play nearly half as well as we could.

“We are becoming fragile when we concede the first goal. Our heads go down and then we conceded another, which didn’t help. We huffed and puffed in the second half again.”

Pool’s resolve lasted just five minutes before Andy Williams curled in a superb opener for the visitors.

The goal prompted booing from home supporters and you could see the confidence drain out of the Seasiders.

Much of the talk in the build-up to the game revolved around McDonald’s decision to select weakened teams for the previous week’s cup defeats at Barnet and Wigan .

But he dismissed claims those setbacks led to Saturday’s poor showing. He insisted: “Really, the changes didn’t make that much difference for the league game.

“The league is vitally important. I made changes and we didn’t play as well as we should have, but I don’t think you can blame the cup games, that’s for sure.

“I’m very concerned when we lose but I’m more concerned about the performance. It was the worst we’ve played at home.”

Pool did have chances, with decent openings falling to strikers Jack Redshaw and Mark Cullen, and McDonald said: “We created a couple of chances in the first half but didn’t take them. I think that was the difference.

“Their first goal came from a ball headed out and the lad puts it right in the top corner.

“When we were given chances to get back into it, we didn’t make the keeper work.”

New Doncaster boss Ferguson has no such problems, Saturday’s win stretching their unbeaten run to five.

Ferguson said: “I thought in the second half we were very solid. I thought we managed the game well.

“We did the ugly things right and we had to be careful as it was wet and slippery.

“It was a test of our character because some people would probably have thought we’d get beaten.

“We have to keep the desire to keep winning games. Andy Williams could have had more but it was a great finish.”