Blackpool are unlikely to be boosted by the return of injured duo Curtis Tilt and Ollie Turton for tomorrow’s FA Cup third round clash against Arsenal.
The pair, who have both been missing for the Seasiders in recent games, are making good progress in their recoveries according to manager Terry McPhillips.
But, while their injuries aren’t believed to be too serious, Saturday’s televised cup tie is likely to come too soon – and McPhillips admits it is a blow not to have two of the club’s key players available for selection.
“They’re improving,” the Pool boss said. “But this game might be too soon for them, which is disappointing.
“It was good to have Donervon Daniels back and Joe Dodoo back for the last game (against Sunderland on New Year’s Day, where Blackpool were beaten 1-0).
“Mark Cullen and Jimmy Ryan are making progress. Max Clayton is making good progress too. Jordan Thompson is suspended (for the third and final match).
“When we played them last time in the Carabao Cup we had three of our strongest players missing, and it will be the same again with three players who have been playing recently but will be missing.”
Blackpool will be looking for a similar performance to the one they produced in their Carabao Cup last-16 clash at the Emirates in October, where they suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat.
McPhillips is well aware the Gunners will have to endure an off-day for his men to stand a chance, but he’s confident they can give it everything they’ve got and more.
He added: “We’re playing Arsenal and we’re massive underdogs, we’re going to have to play at our best and for them to dip a little bit. A bit like Solihull against us, they really rose to the challenge and gave us two of the hardest games we’ve had.
“We’re also going to need Lady Luck to shine on us. It hasn’t been recently, so it would be nice for that to change on Saturday.
“I fully expect us to put on a performance and a show. Whether or not that will be good enough to get a result, I don’t know.”