McDon­ald taught a les­son by Sad­dlers

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Michael Beard­more

WAL­SALL went top of League One by crush­ing cri­sis club Black­pool and Seasiders boss Neil McDon­ald thinks the soar­ing Sad­dlers have what it takes to stay there.

From the mo­ment Ro­maine Sawyers poked Wal­sall in front, the re­sult was never in doubt and he added a sec­ond late on, with a Sam Man­tom header and a Tom Al­dred own goal in be­tween.

It was Wal­sall’s sixth win on the spin in all com­pe­ti­tions and even in his anger at see­ing Black­pool slip to a fifth con­sec­u­tive loss, McDon­ald’s ad­mi­ra­tion for the visi­tors shone through.

He said: “We were shown how to play football, in both de­fence and at­tack – it was men against boys.

“We need to watch the video very, very closely – not just of our mis­takes but how Wal­sall played be­cause I thought they were ex­cel­lent.

“If we can in­spire our­selves to be like them, we might give our­selves a chance of climb­ing up the league. They are the best team we’ve played so far this sea­son.”

McDon­ald is strug­gling to con­vince re­in­force­ments to come to Bloom­field Road, with the con­tin­u­ing fan back­lash against the club’s own­ers, the Oys­ton fam­ily.

But he knows fresh faces are des­per­ately needed, adding: “Realty has hit in, we’re just not good enough at the mo­ment.

“We just can’t get new sign­ings over the line, whether the play­ers don’t want to come to Black­pool or what. But I’ll keep on try­ing, that’s all I can do.”

Black­pool started well, de­ter­mined to end a rot­ten win­less run dat­ing back to Jan­uary, and skip­per David Fer­gu­son stung the hands of Wal­sall keeper Neil Etheridge in­side a minute.

It would be the last time Etheridge was tested and, a few min­utes af­ter Sawyers blazed wide from ten yards he made amends, pok­ing Wal­sall in front from Jason Demetriou’s through ball.

Black­pool’s wretched luck con­tin­ued af­ter the break as Al­dred turned Rico Henry’s dan­ger­ous cross into his own net.

From there they crum­bled as Tom Brad­shaw could have had a hat­trick, twice de­nied by keeper Kyle Letheren and crash­ing another shot off the post.

But Man­tom bul­leted home a header from Demetriou’s cross to make it 3-0 and Sawyers rounded off the rout with a 25-yard screamer.

Wal­sall also have a glam­our Cap­i­tal One Cup tie with Chelsea to look for­ward to and smil­ing Sad­dlers boss Dean Smith said: “We’re on a hell of a run at the mo­ment.

“It’s pleas­ing to be top and to win six games on the spin is an achieve­ment in it­self – that’s what’s re­ally pleas­ing.

“We’re there to be shot at now but I can see the de­sire in the play­ers’ eyes at the mo­ment to keep get­ting bet­ter and keep win­ning.”

STAR MAN JASON DEMET

RIOU Wal­sal

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