Blackpool boss McPhillips takes solace from near miss against Arsenal

Terry McPhillips believes Blackpool can take solace from their narrow defeat to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup as the teams prepare to meet again this weekend.

The Seasiders gave Unai Emery’s men a fright at the Emirates Stadium last October as Paudie O’Connor headed home from a corner to get the home side’s nerves jangling.

Arsenal eventually prevailed 2-1 in that last-16 tie but McPhillips saw enough to believe Blackpool can once again give their Premier League opponents a headache in the third round of the FA Cup at Bloomfield Road on Sunday.

McPhillips said: “We know they’re going to have a lot of the ball, we’ve practised for that and we expect that as we did last time. We try to keep the ball in front of us a lot, which we did last time.

“They did score two goals from their only two shots on target in that game.

“But there were loads of positives.

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

Blackpool have slipped to 10th in Sky Bet League One having collected just one point from their previous five fixtures, finding the net only once in that period.

They booked a date with Arsenal by defeating Exeter in the first round before pipping Vanarama National League outfit Solihull following extra time in their replay last month.

Arsenal represent a much sterner test but it is one that McPhillips welcomes.

He added: “It’s exciting. We’ve already played them and given them a game last time at their place.

“To then draw them again at the next cup and it being the FA Cup, of course, is terrific for everyone involved, particularly for the players. Everyone’s looking forward to it.

“We’re just looking forward to the chance to go and pit our wits against the best.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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