Blackpool boss aims to avoid some unwanted history

Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips is ready for his first derby in charge
Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips is ready for his first derby in charge
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Terry McPhillips says he doesn’t want to be the Blackpool manager in charge when the club loses its first competitive game to local rivals Fleetwood Town.

The Seasiders make the short trip up the coast today to Highbury to take on their neighbours for the first Fylde coast derby of the season.

The Cod Army are yet to taste victory against Blackpool, although they did come close last season.

They led 1-0 at Bloomfield Road with just two minutes of normal time remaining.

But two quickfire goals, with the second coming in the final minute of stoppage time from Armand Gnanduillet, condemned Fleetwood to their third defeat from their five games against Blackpool.

McPhillips admits the nature of last season’s defeat and their winless record will give Fleetwood extra motivation to get that win today.

“They’re just the same as us, they want to win,” the Blackpool boss said.

“But the fact they’ve never beaten Blackpool probably does give them a little bit extra.

“I don’t want that to happen on my ship, that’s for sure.

“It’s going to be close, whichever way it goes, but we’re in good form and we’re coming into it on the back of a couple of good wins.

“We’ve conceded the least so far in the league so that should give us confidence.

“Hopefully we can nick a goal and win the game.”

Today’s game is Blackpool’s last fixture before their Carabao Cup last-16 clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

While insisting that game is at the back of the players’ minds at this moment in time, McPhillips has admitted the game against Fleetwood presents them with a priceless opportunity to stake a claim for a starting berth in the capital in midweek.

“We’re not even thinking about Arsenal, Arsenal is miles away,” he said.

“We’re just thinking about Fleetwood, simple as that. That’s the message to the players.

“It’s the last game before Arsenal, so it’s the last chance to stake a claim for the shirt.

“But let’s make no bones about it, Fleetwood is a big game and that’s that.”

McPhillips is hopeful of having Marc Bola back fit and available for today’s game, despite the left-back missing Tuesday night’s 1-0 win against Scunthorpe United through injury.

He added: “He rolled his ankle in the game on Saturday, which we knew, but he got on with the game and got better. He went on to score his goal.

“We don’t think it’s too serious, even though he missed the game on Tuesday.

“I’ll get a report off the physio on his progress, but we’re hoping he will be fit for Saturday.”