FA Cup third round: Blackpool chairman unmoved by Fleetwood tie

By Jimmy SmallwoodBBC Sport
Fleetwood players celebrate beating Yeovil
Fleetwood beat League One opposition in the FA Cup second round in December

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston will not attend this weekend's third-round FA Cup tie at non-league neighbours Fleetwood Town and says the game is neither exciting nor a high priority.

The match has been eagerly anticipated locallyexternal-link, with the 5,094 capacity Highbury Stadium completely sold out.

But Oyston says he prefers to focus on success in the Championship.

"It's perhaps caught the imagination," Oyston concedes. "But it's not the big event people are billing it as."

Fleetwood, who are second in the Blue Square Bet Premier, beat Yeovil 2-0 in an FA Cup second-round replayexternal-link in December to set up a tie with the Tangerines, who lie just outside the Championship play-off places, having been relegated from the Premier League on the final day of last season.

After the win over Yeovil, Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley called the Blackpool tie "the game of the decades" for his club.

"Genuinely, hand on heart, we would prefer Blackpool at home to Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, anybody," Pilley added.

"The hysteria this tie will cause for the next few weeks will be absolutely immense."

But Pilley's Blackpool counterpart Oyston is less enthused by the draw, and told BBC Radio Lancashire: "It's a competition that neither club will win, without being defeatist.

"I've got tickets for Saturday, but I'm passing them on to other members of the family. I'm going to stay away.

"I'll be monitoring the progress from afar, but I think it's more important that people go who really want to go and are excited by it."

Oyston, who has been in charge at Bloomfield Road since 1999, then expanded on the club websiteexternal-link: "If we had drawn Manchester United or Manchester City that would have been exciting, but a Conference club isn't wonderful."

Glenn Bowley of the Blackpool Supporters' Associationexternal-link told BBC Sport: "We're looking forward to it. Some fans are really excited.

"I don't think the chairman's done us a disservice. I think it's going to be a good day, an enjoyable day, and I hope we win."

And he agreed with Oyston to an extent, adding: "We're all looking forward to it, but it's very easy to get carried away. Our priority has to be the league."

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