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McDonald Ready For Gillingham Test

11 September 2015

Manager Previews Latest Fixture

Neil McDonald has noticed an added spring in the step of his Blackpool players this week, as the team prepare for a trip to early table toppers Gillingham.

A solid display at Scunthorpe United last weekend, resulting in a first clean sheet and three points of the season, has put the squad in a great frame of mind for another fixture on the road.

"It's been really good training this week and the boys have expressed themselves in the training sessions that we'd done. They've worked very hard and they're all looking forward to the game on Saturday against Gillingham," McDonald said.

Blackpool will look to become the first side to leave the Priestfield Stadium with anything this season, with a game-plan in place for the fixture.

"They're top of the table and they've won their three games at home, but we've just gone to Scunthorpe who hadn't been beaten in two games and hadn't conceded. We breached them and took the points off them. Now we'll see if we can do the same.

"We know what their strength and weaknesses are and we've got a bit of a game-plan. If that game-plan comes off, then we'll bring home some points."

One player who excelled in a system deployed at Scunthorpe was midfielder Jim McAlister, who returned to a wing role from his earlier playing days to great effect.

"He's a total team player at the moment, which is excellent," the manager commented. "Whatever position I've been asking him to play, he's played it 100 per cent. That's all you can ask off any player."

The challenge away from home at the moment is to counter attack effectively and make better use of the ball when in possession, particularly when looking to bring Mark Cullen into things.

"He's the target man, the bounce man, and we've got to try and get up and support him as quick as we can. 

"Once that confidence starts flowing we'll be able to express ourselves a little bit more and hopefully get better results."

The team set off for Gillingham earlier this morning, with the manager keen for the players to do a short session on arrival in Kent.

"We've done all our preparation and the boys are ready. We'll travel down on the coach today because it is a nightmare journey being one of the longest trips away. We'll get there and do a bit of exercising to get the travel out of their legs. We'll be ready again for a tough away game, trying to make the fans have a happy journey back by taking some points," he added.

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