Neil McDonald feels his Blackpool team are now a totally different outfit from the one which started the season so poorly.
After a dreadful opening saw them lose five of their first six games, the Seasiders have turned their form around and Tuesday’s 1-1 home draw with Millwall was their fifth game without defeat in all competitions, a run many never saw coming.
And manager McDonald believes the midweek comeback shows just how much his side has changed.
Pool fell behind to a first-half Mark Beevers strike and McDonald said: “think if that had happened in the first few games of the season we’d have lost the game.
“It shows how the players are trying to battle for the tangerine shirt. They don’t want to be beaten.
“We always want to try to get three points, but if we can’t then we’ll always respect a point.
“I think the players are much stronger mentally now. I think everyone can see a difference from the first few home games to where we are now.
“We are undefeated in five and are showing real character now. We aren’t the finished article by any means but we are improving.”
Pool won the first three of those five unbeaten games, but even that isn’t enough to keep McDonald happy.
The tough-to-please manager feels his side could have won all five. “I told the players thatt if you lose four on the trot, which we did, then you have to try to win four on the bounce,” he said.
“We are trying hard to do that. We just aren’t quite finishing our chances when they come.
“If we take our chances better, then I feel we will win even more games.”
McDonald isn’t expected to make too many changes for Saturday’s visit of bottom club Crewe, which means David Norris will once again start in midfield.
The veteran went straight back into the starting XI on Tuesday after missing two games through injury, with Jose Cubero dropping to the bench.
And while the decision to omit the Costa Rican raised a few eyebrows, McDonald revealed it was to give his side a more attacking look.
“I brought David in to try to play on the front foot and be a bit more attacking,” he explained.
“I thought he did well considering he’d been out for a week or so. I was pleased with his contribution.”