Wembley? McDonald is more interested in Doncaster

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Neil McDonald insists he isn’t too concerned about tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Wigan and is concentrating on Blackpool’s League One campaign.

The Seasiders boss made six changes as Pool crashed out of the FA Cup at Barnet on Saturday and has suggested he will do the same again tonight.

The northern section quarter-final at the DW Stadium kicks off at 7.15pm but McDonald is more interested in Saturday’s relegation six-pointer at home to Doncaster.

The Pool boss said: “We have to be ready and raring to go for the Doncaster game.

“I don’t really look towards the chance of getting to finals and things. The league position is huge for us, considering the club has been in downfall for the past couple of years.

“My remit coming in here was to stop the club’s league decline and to stop the rot. That’s what I am concentrating on.”

Jim McAlister, Emmerson Boyce, David Norris, Brad Potts and Jack Redshaw were all left out for the 2-0 defeat at Barnet.

With defender Tom Aldred suspended tonight, Boyce is expected to return to the squad against his former club, but many more changes seem unlikely.

McDonald added: “Wigan will be very similar to Barnet as I have to make sure I’ve got my strongest team for Doncaster. We have to pick up league points now, it’s as simple as that.

“If we beat Doncaster, that will get us further up the league and that’s what matters to me. I have to be very honest with myself and say that’s the most important thing for us.

“That’s no degrading any competition or team we are playing against.”

Blackpool will come up against their former players David Perkins and Donervon Daniels this evening, with Wigan manager Gary Caldwell set to go full-strength.

Unlike McDonald, the Latics boss is excited by a possible Wembley trip in the JPT.

Caldwell said: “I highlighted to the players before the first round at Crewe that this was a competition with the final at Wembley, and you don’t get this kind of opportunity too many times in your career.

“We wanted to take the competition seriously and get there for our fans.

“They’ve got a special affinity for the place, having been there so many times in the last few years, and we want to take them back there and give them another day to enjoy.”