Blackpool owner Simon Sadler would love FA Cup run

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Simon Sadler knows Blackpool’s priority is to consolidate in the Championship but the owner admits: “I’d love us to have an FA Cup run”.

 

Last season’s run to the fourth round, which included the scalp of Premier League West Bromwich Albion, has whetted Sadler’s appetite for more cup heroics – and promotion to the second tier means Pool need win only one game to reach that stage this time.

That third-round tie is a lunchtime kick-off this Saturday at League Two Hartlepool United, who proved they are unfazed by higher-level opposition when they knocked Bolton Wanderers out of the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday.

Blackpool celebrate Gary Madine's goal in last season's third-round tie against West Bromwich Albion, which the Seasiders won on penalties

Blackpool celebrate Gary Madine’s goal in last season’s third-round tie against West Bromwich Albion, which the Seasiders won on penalties

Sadler told The Gazette: “Growing up, my earliest memories of football were from the mid-1970s and every kid of that era looked forward to cup final day.

“I can remember every cup final from Man United v Southampton (1976) to probably the mid-1980s, as well as where I was and who I was with.

“The FA Cup is big and for Blackpool there are the three finals in 1948, 1951 and 1953.

“There is nothing I’d like more than for this club to have a really good cup run. I don’t think we’ve got past the fifth round for donkey’s years, a long, long time.”

The club last reached the fifth round in 1989/90, losing to Queens Park Rangers in a tie that needed two replays.

Pool fans who remember a quarter-final appearance need to have been around since 1958/59, when Luton Town beat them in a reply.

Sadler added: “I enjoyed last year, although it’s helpful starting in the third round as it gives you more of a chance of going further.

“Hartlepool away is not going to be an easy game but I’d love us to go on a cup run … fingers crossed.”

But the Championship is Blackpool’s bread and butter and Sadler’s top priority at the outset of the season was that his club proved themselves worthy of their place.

He recalled: “That first match at Bristol City, I was so excited. I was so pleased to grab the late equaliser.

“Our second game was at home to Cardiff, which was a bit of an eye-opener. It was like, ‘Wow, it’s the land of the giants’. I was asking myself, ‘Are we going to be all right?’

“I was a little bit twitchy after those first couple of games, but once we saw that comeback against Bournemouth – and Bournemouth are clearly a very good team, who play very good football – we’ve since gone on a good run.

“After a little bit of a wobbly start, which was understandable, we’ve got up to speed and we’re here on merit. Hopefully we’ll stay here on merit.”