Blackpool's Cullen ready to silence the boo-boys

Blackpool's hat-trick hero Mark Cullen says he expects to receive a frosty reception on his return to Kenilworth Road tonight.

Thursday, 18th May 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 10:01 pm
Mark Cullen

The striker, who has given Blackpool a slender 3-2 first-leg advantage in their play-off semi-final against Luton Town, silenced the Hatters’ fans at Bloomfield Road with his superb trio of goals on Sunday.

The 25-year-old moved to Blackpool from Luton in the summer of 2015 for £180,000, after scoring 24 times in 83 games for the Hatters.

He was given a positive reception when the clubs met in League Two at Kenilworth Road last month, but Cullen doesn’t expect his former fans to be as generous in tonight’s televised decider.

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The 12-goal striker said: “I got a good reception when I went down to Luton and I scored a hat-trick while I was there, so they know what I’m capable of.

“The reception I get on Thursday might not be the same as I got last time but it’s part and parcel of football. Players move clubs and you just have to take it on the chin.”

The Seasiders go into the game knowing a draw will be enough to send them to Wembley but Cullen is aware that will be no easy feat.

He added: “They finished fourth in the league for a reason. They’re a good, strong side and they’ve enjoyed a good season.

“They are always going to keep going and on Thursday night they will go strong again.

“The tie isn’t over and it’s not going to be easy, but we can’t go there and sit off them.

“We can’t go into it not expecting them to score because they’ll be right at it.”

Also kicking off at 7.45pm is the other semi-final second leg between Exeter and Carlisle, who drew 3-3 in Cumbria on Sunday.