McDonald: We have to believe in ourselves

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald wants his Blackpool squad to start believing they are a good team.

The Seasiders have two games in four days at Bloomfield Road this week, with struggling Shrewsbury and Oldham the visitors and both winnable games on paper.

McDonald’s men go into the games looking to extend their four game unbeaten run and stretch the four-point gap between themselves and Fleetwood who occupy the final relegation place in League One.

“We have to play with the tempo and belief we have been playing with lately,” said the Pool boss.

“The defending in the last four or five games has been outstanding to be honest.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing the league’s top sides or the bottom sides, if you work hard and attack well you’ll win games.

“We just need to keep the momentum going now and see how many games we can win now.”

Blackpool have conceded just one goal in their last four games, although the improved form still sees them sitting 18th in League One.

It’s a position McDonald wants to address as quickly as possible, saying: “We still need more points to keep us out of trouble now.

“But the endeavour, tempo and willingness to put our bodies on the line is really there now.

“Every player is working so hard for the fans now and I think they are enjoying their team now too.”

Blackpool are expected to make a couple of changes to the side which beat Gillingham two weeks ago, with Hayden White and Jim McAlister once again available.

While McAlister will likely to straight back into the side, White could be made to wait after a decent display from his replacement Emmerson Boyce.

The former Wigan man has had to be patient since losing his place in the starting eleven, but McDonald is full of praise for the veteran.

“Boyce slotted in really well and contributed well going forward as well as defensively,” said McDonald.

“He’s a fit lad and very experienced, so he knows how to handle coming in after a while out.

“We have had to man manage his training, he doesn’t train every day.

“But he’s at that age now if you slot him in he knows how to deal with a game.

“He’s a good player and a good asset for us to have in the squad.”

Another headache for McDonald is if and when to bring Clark Robertson back into the starting line-up.

Robertson had been an almost ever present for Pool until he limped off injured at Burton at the start of last month.

He’s been available for Pool’s last two games but has had to remain patient due to the form of Will Aimson and Tom Aldred at the heart of the defence.

And McDonald heaped praise on his current defensive duo.

“It’s a big pat on the back for Will Aimson,” said the boss.

“I’ve said before if you play well you keep your shirt.

“That’s the case at the moment at the back with Will who is playing really well alongside Aldred.

“Clark is having to be really patient at the moment, he came on on Saturday and did really well.

“I thought he was outstanding when he came on.”