Blackpool should take heart from their previous Arsenal meeting

Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips
Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips
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Terry McPhillips says his Blackpool players must take inspiration from their battling display at the Emirates earlier in the season.

The Seasiders take on Arsenal for the second time this campaign when they welcome the Gunners to Bloomfield Road tonight for their FA Cup third round tie.

McPhillips’ men will be looking to go one better than their brave efforts at the Emirates back in October, where they came close to causing a huge upset only to eventually lose 2-1 to the Premier League giants.

The Pool boss says it would be silly of his players not to take confidence from that performance.

“I do believe (we can take things from the Carabao Cup game),” McPhillips said.

“We know they’re going to have a lot of the ball, we’ve practiced that and we expect that like we did last time.

“We tried to keep the ball in front of us a lot, which we did. They did score two goals from their only two shots on target in that game.

“So there were loads of positives and we did have them on the back foot for a little bit.

“Paudie O’Connor heads one against the crossbar, then he heads one in the net to make it 2-1, and we had them on the back foot for a little bit for 10 or 15 minutes.

“It was an eventful game for Paudie because he then got sent off and I don’t think we touched it after that.

“Being at home helps. They’re a class act when you go to their place with the facilities, the hospitality and everything.

“But being at home, we’ll give it our best shot and I think they’ll know they’ve been in a good game.”

While leading his team out at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup was a proud moment for McPhillips, he admits tonight’s game takes on extra significance given the history and tradition of the FA Cup.

“It’s really exciting,” he added.

“We’ve already played them and we gave them a game last time at their place.

“But to draw them again in the next cup and it being the FA Cup of course is terrific for everyone involved, especially the players. Everyone is looking forward to it.

“To be playing Arsenal for the second time, only this time it’s at home and in the FA Cup, it’s incredible really.

“We’re just looking forward to pitting our wits against the best.

“We have done it once before but it is a bit different now, because we’re at home and it is the FA Cup.

“Yes, we’re massive underdogs and we know we’re going to have to play at our best and for them to dip a little bit just to stand a chance.”