John Murphy says Blackpool’s FA Youth Cup semi-final, second leg at Arsenal this evening will be like a World Cup final for the under-18s.
The Seasiders are bidding to become the first third tier side in 30 years to progress to the final of the competition, having finished all square against The Gunners in the first leg.
“I know it’s the semi-final but we’ve treated every game in this competition as our cup final. This now is the ultimate, this is like the World Cup final for us," Pool’s Professional Development Phase Coach said.
“It’s great that we go to the Emirates still in the tie. It was an unbelievable effort and performance from the lads in the first leg, and the same will be required tonight. We’ll probably have to be even better this time.
“Belief plays a big part and the lads have taken confidence from how they performed in the previous game. They now get to go and express themselves on a big pitch and in one of the biggest grounds in the Premier League. They’ve earned that right.
“Nobody expected us to get to some of the previous rounds, let alone the semi-finals. We’ve got nothing to lose at all. Whatever happens, the players have done fantastically well and they can be proud of themselves.”
The Blackpool squad that has travelled down to London is bolstered by the return of Rowan Roache, who was on international duty when the first leg took place.
“It’s great to have Rowan back with us, especially when you consider how many goals he contributes to the team, whether that be by scoring them or assisting. We know it gives us a better chance by having a player of his quality available, though the lads still stood up and performed well in his absence in the first leg,” Murphy added.
Supporters are reminded that tickets for the 7pm kick-off are no longer available to purchase. For those unable to attend, there will be updates on the club’s Twitter feed, as well as live online commentary via Live Sports FM.
There is also an option to watch a stream of the game through Arsenal's official website, providing that you register as a digital member to gain access.