McDonald snubs press and left clinging onto last hope

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Blackpool could have back-to-back relegations confirmed this afternoon after a second- half collapse against Wigan left them on the brink of the drop.

Should Fleetwood avoid defeat at Walsall this lunchtime, Neil McDonald’s men will be playing their football in League Two next season.

After defeat at Crewe virtually relegated Doncaster on Saturday, the final place in the bottom four will be taken by one of the Fylde coast clubs.

Blackpool couldn’t make early pressure pay before crumbling to a 4-0 home defeat to champions Wigan, which kept Pool two points behind Town.

The result piled pressure on manager McDonald, who petulantly turned his back on the waiting written media after the game.

Without a word of explanation, the manager refused to field questions from The Gazette and national press, but insisted on local radio that his side aren’t yet finished.

“We have to hold on to the fact that clubs can do us a favour to take it into the final day. If we can do that, then it will be a case of giving it everything we’ve got,” said an ever-optimistic McDonald, whose team can only survive if Town lose at Walsall and at home to bottom club Crewe next Sunday, when his own side must win at Peterborough.

He added:“All we can do now is wait for Monday’s result. We had a chance on Saturday and we didn’t take it.”

Mark Cullen and Jack Redshaw both missed chances in the first half to give Pool a vital lead. But once Chris McCann put Wigan ahead on the hour, Pool fell apart. Two Yanic Wildschut goals and a late Will Grigg header settled it.

McDonald admitted the missed chances were crucial. He said: “It was a strong first- half performance but first-half performances don’t win you games.

“We created plenty of chances against a top side, but when you don’t take them they will always put pressure on you.

“Wigan showed us how to put the ball in the net.”

Wigan celebrated promotion on the Bloomfield Road pitch and manager Gary Caldwell said: “You have to enjoy moments like that.

“If you want to be successful, resilience is a massive quality. In the first half we were terrible.

“We could easily have been behind at half-time, but we were a different team in the second half and we killed them off.