FA Cup replays: Houston set for Blackpool control while Wigan face testing replay


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The Independent Football

Blackpool have been given permission to speak to the Dundee United manager Peter Houston about the vacancy at Bloomfield Road. With Michael Appleton quitting last week for a move to Blackburn Rovers, caretaker manager Steve Thompson will lead Blackpool again tonight in their FA Cup third round replay at home to Fulham.

A Dundee United spokesperson said: "The club have granted Blackpool permission to contact Peter Houston. That's on the basis that, as a football club, we won't stand in the way of anyone furthering their career."

Bournemouth defender Tommy Elphick is determined to create history as his side host Wigan Athletic tonight. Eddie Howe's side matched a club record which had stood for 30 years on Saturday as they extended their unbeaten run to 18 games with a draw against Swindon.

"It's a marvellous feat by all the lads and it's going to take another really good team to do it again," Elphick said. "We won't be looking to stop at 18. We will be looking to extend it for a lot longer."

The Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez, is likely to give on-loan Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez his first start at the Goldsands Stadium.

Dougie Freedman, the Bolton manager, has confirmed winger Martin Petrov will leave the club, with Espanyol set to sign the Bulgarian. "We've got to face the facts. Martin is in the latter years of his career and earns a lot of money at this club," said Freedman, whose side travel to Sunderland tonight after their 2-2 draw 10 days ago.

"If we produce what we produced at home then we've got a chance of winning this game," he added.

Sunderland's Martin O'Neill believes their fightback from two goals down against Bolton helped to build the foundation for his side's 3-0 win over West Ham on Saturday.

"We started sluggishly against Bolton and I don't think we can afford to do that, but against West Ham [in the League on Saturday] we started strongly and the most pleasing aspect for me was that we kept it going," he said. "For the most part, we were terrific. Our second-half performance against Bolton in the Cup helped cement that."

The Queen's Park Rangers' manager, Harry Redknapp, will keep faith with the old guard at Loftus Road as he aims to secure Premier League survival. Redknapp praised the likes of Shaun Derry, Clint Hill and Jamie Mackie for their commitment to the cause ahead of the replay at West Bromwich Albion tonight.

"They're lads that people write off, saying they're only Championship players, but they're giving everything and I can't ask any more than that," said Redknapp.