Former PNE player named as new Blackpool boss

Neil McDonald in action for PNE in 1996

Neil McDonald in action for PNE in 1996

  • Neil McDonald signed for PNE in 1995 and spent three years at the club
  • He takes over as Blackpool boss from Lee Clark who resigned after the Seasiders were relegated from the Championship last month
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One of Preston North End’s Third Division Championship winning side has just become the new manager of Blackpool.

Neil McDonald has taken over the reins as Seasiders boss after Lee Clark resigned as Blackpool manager last month.

Clark quit after the club were relegated to League One with a tally of just 26 points from 46 games.

Now 49-year-old McDonald is looking forward to a new challenge at Bloomfield Road after leaving his role as West Ham assistant boss last month.

“This is a great opportunity for me, it’s a massive football club in my opinion and I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” McDonald told the club’s official website.

“It’s a challenge that’s going to be difficult - wherever you go it’s always difficult - but it’s a challenge that I’m really up for and really excited about.

“I’ve got to try and stabilise it first of all after what happened last year with relegation and change people’s minds to try and get the confidence back and push the club on to pastures new.”

McDonald made 34 appearances for PNE in a three year spell at Deepdale from 1995 to 1998.

He signed from Bolton for £40,000 in 1995 and was part of PNE’s Third Division Championship winning side.

He ended his career at Deepdale and his first foray into the coaching world was with the Lilywhites.

After becoming a player coach at PNE in 1997 the right back joined ex-PNE player Sam Allardyce’s back room staff at Bolton in 2000.

McDonald has managed at League One level before having managed Carlisle in 2006.

The former Newcastle United and Everton defender got the role after United boss Paul Simpson left to manage North End.

Despite Carlisle finishing the season in eighth place McDonald was sacked and he moved to Swedish club Östersunds FK, subsequently saving them from relegation.

Since then McDonald has teamed up with Allardyce twice, at Blackburn Rovers and West Ham.

When ‘Big Sam’ left the Hammers last month McDonald went too and has now taken on a new challenge at Bloomfield Road.