'They're going to be really worried': Jovial Terry McPhillips on Blackpool's rematch with Unai Emery's Arsenal
Terry McPhillips joked Arsenal will be 'worried' about the prospect of facing his Blackpool side for a second time this season.
The Seasiders set up a rematch with the Gunners, who they played at the Emirates in the Carabao Cup early this season, having defeated Solihull Moors after extra time on Tuesday.
Pool pushed Unai Emery’s Arsenal side all the way in their 2-1 defeat, and McPhillips can’t way to test his charges against top-class Premier League opponents for a second time.
“They’re going to be really worried, they’re that worried they didn’t even send a scout,” McPhillips said.
“But in all seriousness, it’s brilliant for our lads. They’ve gone to the Emirates and had a game and now they’re going to be playing them again at Bloomfield Road. That’s brilliant.
“To play Arsenal twice in a season normally you’ve got to be in the Premier League.
“The boys aren’t stupid, they know it’s Arsenal and it’s a massive carrot for them, they want to play Arsenal now on our pitch.
“We gave them a run for their money last time and when their lad got sent off we had a really good spell. It’s a hell of a game.
“Going through we will make some money and being on the telly again we will make some money and it’s like last time, it’s a free hit for us and we can approach it with no fear and enjoy the occasion.”
It could have been very diffierent, however, with Solihull coming close to causing an upset in Tuesday night’s second round replay, coming from two goals down to force the game to extra time.
But Jay Spearing’s penalty – the second spot kick of the night – secured the win for Pool, who will now take on Arsenal on Saturday, January 5, a game which will also be televised on BT Sport (5.30pm kick off).
“Their lads were cramping up a bit after the game and I was happy to hear the whistle after 90 minutes to go to extra time, I did fancy us then,” McPhillips said.
“I thought we would be physically better and we were. We did do better than them in extra time and the pressure paid off in the end.
“We got a bit of luck as well, it might have been a penalty, it might not have been a penalty, and Jay had the nerve to go and take it and smash it in the net.
“I thought that epitomised all the lads, they had the nerve, they had the spirit and the camaraderie, and that saw us over the line.
“Having watched both penalties back, I think both could have been given – as they were – or both could not be given on another night.
“We’ll have to rest and recover now and count some heads on Thursday ahead of the Barnsley game, but I’d imagine we’ll make some changes now with the extra time.
“There’s loads of lads that are desperate to play and are ready to play, so it’s fair to say we’ll make a few changes.”
One man who could be absent for Saturday’s League One encounter is Joe Dodoo, who hobbled off with an injury having earlier scored Pool’s second of the night.
The 23-year-old, on loan from Rangers, was later seen wearing a protective foot brace, although this was just as a precaution before the full extent of the injury is known.
McPhillips said: “He’s just landed on his ankle and twisted his ankle, we won’t know until tomorrow how bad that is.
“That’s disappointing for us because I thought he was a real threat before the injury and, to be fair, after he went off things started to go pear-shaped for us.”