Terry McPhillips' warning to Blackpool players over another possible cup clash with Arsenal

Terry McPhillips says an appetising FA Cup carrot has been dangled in front of his Blackpool side
Terry McPhillips says an appetising FA Cup carrot has been dangled in front of his Blackpool side

Terry McPhillips has warned his Blackpool players not to look beyond their FA Cup replay after the Seasiders were handed a potential home clash against Premier League giants Arsenal.

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Should the Seasiders beat Solihull Moors in their second-round replay, they will face the Gunners for the second time this season, this time at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool took Unai Emery’s Gunners all the way in their Carabao Cup last-16 tie at the Emirates five weeks ago, eventually succumbing to a narrow 2-1 defeat.

But manager McPhillips, who described the potential match-up as a “dangled carrot”, says his players musn’t get too carried away.

He told The Gazette: “It’s all irrelevant unless we beat Solihull here but it’s some draw, isn’t it? You couldn’t write it. It’s incredible.

“It’s all about Charlton for us first (in League One on Saturday) and then Solihull after that. The lads aren’t stupid – they’ll know what an opportunity this is.

“I was sitting there and I could tell it was coming – it was going to be ball number two. So if we beat Solihull, Paul Ince (who made the draw) has done us a big favour there.

“It’s obviously a great game. We gave them half a scare in the Carabao Cup, so they will be panicking now. I’m only kidding but they’ll probably play a stronger team.

“But the carrot has been dangled, so we’ve got to be spot on in the replay and make sure we do the job.”

Blackpool produced a superb performance at Arsenal on Halloween and came close to taking the game to penalties.

The Gunners fielded a weakened line-up which still included Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

McPhillips added: “It will be hard for them to play their stuff at our place, that’s for sure.

“In the end we did a good job at Arsenal in terms of preventing them having shots on our target.

They got two and they scored from them both. I think you could always predict the team they were going to play in the Carabao Cup but I don’t think you can in the FA Cup.

“With all things being equal, if we can get through against Solihull we’ll have a stronger team out against us.

“But it’s all about Solihull now. We’ve just played them, it was 0-0 and they’re a team that keep a load of clean sheets.

“There’s a big job to be done first before we can get excited. That’s my message – a carrot has been dangled but we’ve got to do a professional job and get through.”