Mac: Tactics must be spot on

12 November 2010 01:48
Assistant boss Neil McDonald hopes Blackburn can follow the lead of Bolton and Sunderland and extend Tottenham's Champions League hangover.

Spurs were on cloud nine earlier this month after notching a superb 3-1 victory over Inter Milan to go top of their group in Europe, but have since been brought back down to earth by a 4-2 defeat at Bolton and a 1-1 home draw with Sunderland in the Premier League.

The London club also failed to win the two league fixtures that came after their creditable 4-3 defeat in Milan last month and now Blackburn, who travel to White Hart Lane on Saturday, are aiming to make the most of any lethargy that may be lingering within Harry Redknapp's side.

"Those two games against Inter were very high profile and they worked very hard to try and get the results, especially the one at home, which was fantastic," McDonald said.

"In the Premier League teams that go away from home and play the big guns have to get their tactics right.

"We have to do exactly the same as what Bolton and Sunderland have done, trying to stop Tottenham from playing as much as we possibly can and impose our game on them."

The trip to the capital comes hot on the heels of Wednesday night's away game at Newcastle, where Rovers' strategy appeared to be spot on as manager Sam Allardyce made a winning return against the club he had a short stint in charge of three years ago.

"For the manager to go back to the club that sacked him, it is very satisfying, and the performance was excellent - apart from the goal we conceded, which we are very disappointed with," McDonald said of the 2-1 victory.

"On the whole (Blackburn goalkeeper) Paul Robinson hasn't had a shot to save, and that is away from home.

"We've passed the ball a lot better, which we have been trying to improve, our counter-attacking play was really sharp and we've finished it off with two really good goals.

"You have to take each game on its merits and we felt the two (Newcastle) centre-forwards were a big, big danger with their aerial and physical threat.

"Most importantly, we set out to try and stop their source, the crosses from Jonas Gutierrez and Joey Barton, and that is why we played the three centre-halves with the two wing-backs, who could push on and stop the flow. I think we did that very well."

Rovers will be looking to subdue the wide man again on Saturday as they come up against Gareth Bale, whose dazzling performances in the Inter matches have brought him global attention.

"There are lots of players we will have to look after, but I'm sure we'll have a game plan in mind about how to minimise how much the ball gets to him," McDonald said.

"He is a very good player - he has developed into a fine wide midfielder and can play left-back as well.

"He has got good delivery into the box, is very quick and has developed over the last 12 months at a pace that has surprised a few people.

"In the games against Inter Milan he played really well against top-class defenders - he has really destroyed them, and it just puts your profile so high.

"We have to be wary of that and try to stop the source like we did at Newcastle. If we do that, we'll have a chance of trying to keep the other 10 players quiet!"

Source: Team_Talk