Terry McPhillips admits it is frustrating having fewer home fans than away for the second game running, but the Blackpool boss insists it is something he and his players are already used to.
Around 5,200 Arsenal fans are expected to travel to Bloomfield Road for tomorrow’s FA Cup third round clash, with an estimated 3,000 fans likely to occupy the home ends.
That comes after the New Year’s Day invasion of Sunderland fans, with those descending on the Fylde coast from the North East taking up almost 8,000 of the 10,994 crowd.
The boycott of home matches was expected to be given its biggest test with Premier League giants Arsenal coming to town, but it appears those unwilling to hand over their cash to Owen Oyston have resolutely decided to stand firm.
“We will concede the disadvantage of having less home fans; Arsenal fans will have more than us here just like Sunderland did,” McPhillips said.
“I think that is a disadvantage, yes. But these lads are resilient and they’re used to it.
“It won’t be the first or second time it’s happened this season, it’s happened a lot where the away fans are bigger than the home fans.
“We almost use it as a positive and lots of the games have been played in an empty shell, nearly, although there will be a bigger crowd on Saturday.
“Our lads are used to it and it’s a case of making your own atmosphere.
“The Sunderland fans came in their huge numbers and they made an atmosphere of it anyway.
“We gave a good account of ourselves in that game.
“It’s been going on for quite a bit now, so the lads that have been here last season, and the lads that have been here since the summer who have got half a season under their belt, they know what it’s like.
“We’re a tight-knit group. Yes it’s frustrating but I knew that when I took the job. Just like all of the lads, you’ve just got to get on with it and try and make it into a positive.”
With owner Owen Oyston still in debt to the tune of £25m to former director Valeri Belokon, it is perhaps unsurprising that Blackpool have no money available to spend during the January transfer window.
But McPhillips insists he’d still like to see one or two fresh faces, which will be loan deals or free transfers.
“We will have made some money (from the cup runs), I know that,” the Pool boss said.
“But as far as I’m aware, right now, there’s no money available to buy players.
“Perhaps there will be one or two new faces in this window, but it will be loans or free transfers.
“We’ve got irons in the fire, so we’re speaking to a number of clubs and we’re juggling a few plates.
“We have to wait and see and sometimes you need a bit of luck with that because you need the bigger club to want to loan their player to Blackpool.”