McPhillips wants his Blackpool attack to be as mean as defence

Terry McPhillips
Terry McPhillips
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They have the second-meanest defence in League One but Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips says his side need to address their goalscoring if they want to climb the table.

Only second-placed Barnsley have conceded fewer goals than the Seasiders this term (28), while Pool’s Mark Howard(right) and Christoffer Mafoumbi and table-topping Luton Town have conceded 29. But the ninth-placed Seasiders are at the bottom of the charts when it comes to goals scored.

Only basement side AFC Wimbledon (28) and tomorrow’s opponents, 21st-placed Bristol Rovers (31), have scored fewer goals than Pool and Accrington Stanley (34).

For McPhillips, this is not a new problem but one he is keen to address if Pool wish to cut the six-point gap between them and sixth-placed Doncaster.

McPhillips said: “It has always been the problem for us (scoring). It is not brand new to us. We are not bad at stopping them but we need to score more if we are going to go further up.

“We will have a look at that in training and we will see.”

Pool have not conceded a goal from open play since New Year’s Day.

And McPhillips is proud of his defence. He added: “It is credit to the lads.

“That is where our strength is as a team and if we can do better at the top end of the pitch, with that final pass or finish, then hopefully it will bode well for us.”

Can they overhaul Doncaster in the final 13 games?

McPhillips answered: “We are going to have to win a few, go on a good run. Doncaster have a superior goal difference, so it (the gap) is almost seven points. They have to lose a few and we will have to go on our best run yet to do that.”

Rovers are in the drop zone and McPhillips says his team need to start picking up the points against sides below them in the table after defeat to relegation-battling Oxford last time out.

He said: “We have probably done better against the teams further up the league. We need to address that.

“We have a good run-in now to get as many points as we can. We’ll go down there and have a good go.”

Rovers beat Blackpool 3-0 at Bloomfield Road in November. McPhillips is keen to put right that result in a match played immediately after the Carabao Cup exit against Arsenal.

He said: “It would be nice to turn that round. I think they played us at the right time – we’d had one hell of a week.

“I think that did affect the players because they are only human and hopefully we will see a different Blackpool down at Bristol.”