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Blackpool sack McDonald

by Ciaran Fletcher

Blackpool have announced that they have parted company with manager Neil McDonald following their relegation from League One.

McDonald joined the club last summer with a view of returning to the Championship following relegation, but another poor campaign saw the club relegated once more after winning only 12 games all season.

The 50-year-old was appointed Blackpool manager after leaving his role as assistant to Sam Allardyce at West Ham following his departure from Upton Park. He inherited a squad that included just six contracted players.

McDonald told the club’s official website: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Blackpool Football Club, its staff, players and fans for their support throughout what has been a very difficult season.

“Despite being extremely disappointed by our relegation from Sky Bet League One, I am pleased with the work we have done over the past 12 months to rebuild the squad and I leave having laid stronger foundations than when I first arrived. There is now a very capable squad with a core of good young players, who I’m certain will continue their development and challenge in League Two next year.”

The relegation represents a huge fall in grace for Blackpool, who were a Premier League side as recently as the 2010/11 season. The Tangerines were desperately close to returning to the top-flight the following season, losing to a last minute Ricardo Vaz Te goal against McDonald’s West Ham at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.

Blackpool will now be looking for an eighth manager in just four years. Chairman Karl Oyston added: “Myself and the other members of the board would like to place on record our thanks to Neil for his hard work during a challenging season both on and off the field.”

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