Seasiders boss plots drop zone escape

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald has set his Blackpool players a target today – get out of the bottom four.

Despite going five games unbeaten in all competitions and showing a real improvement in recent weeks, Pool remain in the League One drop zone. A win against bottom club Crewe at Bloomfield Road is likely to fire them up the table for the first time since the opening day of the season.

And that’s the challenge McDonald is setting.

“The aim is to get out of the bottom four now,” he said.

“We have to try and win as many games as we can, but particularly the home ones.

“We now have another chance to do that against Crewe on Saturday and we’ll be looking to win the game.

“We set a target of six out of six but Millwall were a hard team to break down.

“But four out of six would be a good total and would keep the run going.”

Despite losing their first three home games, Pool’s Bloomfield Road form has improved in recent weeks and they are now four unbeaten on home soil.

It’s something McDonald demanded of his team and the start of the season and he feels it will play a big part in any future success.

He said: “We have solid home form now.

“We are performing as well as we can do and I hope Bloomfield Road can become a fortress.

“We are growing but we are still a young team and we are still learning.

“At the moment our average age is about 23 with a right-back who’s 36 (Emmerson Boyce).

“They are starting to get their rewards now for the hard work on and off the pitch. That’s all I can ask for as a manager.”

Crewe arrive having gained just 10 points from their opening 14 games so far and are bottom of the League One table.

After watching them in action in recent weeks McDonald feels he’s spotted a weakness - they try to play too much football.

“Crewe will be hard to break down and will try to pass the ball. So we’ll have to stop them playing but express ourselves at the same time.

“They are a very good footballing team, maybe they try to play too much at times and hopefully that will be the case on Saturday.

“They pass the ball well and have a lot of rotation and keep good shape too.

“We’ll need to move the ball quickly to break them down. The players will be well prepared.

“We have to concentrate on what we do with the ball, the defensive side of our game has been solid. But we need to express ourselves a little more and take a bit more care with the ball in the final third.

“if we do that we’ll create more chances and score more goals than we have been doing.”