Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat by relegations rivals Oldham increased the prospects of back-to-back relegatons – the Seasiders are now third-bottom, having played at least one game more than all the clubs around them.
They face yet another hugely important away game against second-bottom Crewe on Saturday, one which many feel is must-win.
But manager McDonald doesn’t want to look at it that way, not even agreeing it’s a game Pool must not lose.
He insisted: “It’s not win at all costs just yet. We still have games to get points on the board.
“We can still lose on Saturday – we have eight games left after that – but we do have to start winning games and scoring goals.
“We need to win at least five games, without a shadow of a doubt. We only have nine left, so that’s a big concern.
“We are in the mire and this is a precarious position.”
Pool struggled throughout the game at Boundary Park, though McDonald insisted they were much the better team in the first half.
Having taken just two points from their last eight games, McDonald admits the pressure is growing.
He added: “We are dealing with huge pressure and I think the second half at Oldham showed we might be struggling with that pressure a little.
“Confidence only comes with good performances and good results.
“If you don’t get a good performance, you hope for a good result – at the moment we are getting neither. I don’t think effort or commitment is lacking.”
Blackpool are now odds-on to be relegated to League Two, though a couple of wins could quickly change the outlook.
But the manager is under no illusions. He said: “This is a massive task we have. It’s been a massive task from right at the start of the season.
“We have nine games left now and we have to perform better for the full 90 minutes.”