MX23RW : Sunday, October 13 21:03:55| >> :600:24395166:24395166:
Jan 5, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at ​Bloomfield Road
Attendance: 8,955
Blackpool
0-3
Arsenal
FT(HT: 0-2)
Willock (11', 37'), Iwobi (82')

Terry McPhillips hails Blackpool's togetherness during turbulent campaign

Terry McPhillips hails Blackpool's togetherness during turbulent campaign
© Reuters
Blackpool fell to a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup earlier this season.

Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips believes the close-knit nature of his side has helped them overcome adversity this season.

The Seasiders had been away from their Squires Gate training ground from pre-season until last month because the playing surface had been deemed unfit.

Meanwhile, the animosity between fans and the Oyston family, the club's owners, shows no sign of abating and has contributed to the visiting contingent outnumbering the home support at Bloomfield Road on a number of occasions in the last few months.

Despite a recent blip in form, Blackpool sit 10th in Sky Bet League One and McPhillips has trumpeted the togetherness of his squad ahead of their FA Cup third round showdown against Arsenal this weekend.

"The players just get on with stuff," he said.

"It's been documented that the training ground hasn't been up to scratch, we've had to train elsewhere. I think that's a big part of any football club – where you're based.

"We've trained elsewhere, we're back at Squires now, it has improved but there's still a long way to go.

"To be fair to these lads, they just get on with it and crack on.

"We've got a solidarity and we stick together as a unit. With everything that's going on, we just stay out of it and we crack on with our work. We only affect the things we can affect."

Blackpool will once again be without Jordan Thompson for the visit of Arsenal on Saturday evening as the midfielder completes a three-match suspension following his dismissal against Rochdale on Boxing Day.

The plum fixture comes a week after the Gunners were thrashed 5-1 by Premier League leaders Liverpool, a result that delighted Reds supporter and former youth team forward McPhillips.

Born in Manchester but raised from a young age on Merseyside, McPhillips, who was appointed Gary Bowyer's permanent successor at Blackpool in September, added: "It's always been Liverpool for me.

"(The Arsenal result) was 'wow' that they can do that and after going a goal behind as well.

"Can we take something from them? I'm not sure we can but apart from be excited by them and strive to be as close to them as you could possibly be."

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