We’ve no chance if we switch off again, admits Blackpool boss

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald has a warning for his Blackpool players ahead of tonight’s clash with Oldham – switch off and you will lose.

Having lost 3-2 to Shrewsbury on Saturday, Pool welcome the Latics to Bloomfield Road for the second part of a home double-header against relegation rivals.

And manager McDonald doesn’t want a repeat of the nightmare start which left his side 3-0 down inside half an hour against the Shrews.

The Pool boss said: “Whether we are playing a team at the top or at the bottom, if we switch off we will be beaten.

“We need to get back to how we have been playing. We have to be nice and solid, nice and bright. We certainly weren’t in the first 20 minutes on Saturday.”

After a four-match unbeaten run had given Pool breathing space, that defeat left them within three points of the drop zone. McDonald said: “It will refocus our minds. It’s about looking forward now.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We have to be ready for Oldham.

“Just because we are playing well at home doesn’t give us the right to win. We have to make the right decisions and we’ll be switched on for tonight, that’s for sure.

“We have to start tonight like we finished the game against Shrewsbury.”

Having picked up points against high-flying Walsall, Sheffield United and Gillingham recently, the Pool boss was quick to deny his side struggles against lower clubs.

He insisted: “We’ve actually picked up more points against clubs in the bottom half but we are competing against clubs at both ends of the table. They are all tough games in this league.

“We plan for the top sides the same as for the bottom sides – there’s nothing different in the way we do things.”

Danny Philliskirk could return up front as Neil McDonald prepares to ring the changes tonight.

The former Oldham man has started the last two games on the left wing but fired his 10th goal of the season when he moved into a striking role against Shrewsbury.

McDonald said: “Danny has scored three goals for us now playing up top, so that gives us something to think about.

“He’s a bright player who can play in a number of positions. That’s one of the reasons we were so keen to bring him to the club.”

Hayden White and Jim McAlister are expected to return to the starting line-up after missing the last two.

Both pulled out of the 1-0 win over Gillingham with illness and then watched from the bench on Saturday.

They are set to return this evening as McDonald looks to revert to the side which picked up vital points against Walsall and Sheffield United.

Pool also hope back-up keeper Kyle Letheren will be well enough to take a place on the bench tonight; if not, youth teamer Myles Boney will again be among the substitutes.