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FA Cup: Walsall v Carlisle - Michael Flynn wants Bescot crowd to be Saddlers’ 12th man

Walsall boss Michael Flynn has made no secret of the importance of the FA Cup for Walsall and says the crowd could play a big part in getting them through to the third round.

Michaal Flynn is hoping for a potentially lucrative run in the FA Cup
Michaal Flynn is hoping for a potentially lucrative run in the FA Cup

But he has warned against any complacency or over-confidence from the Saddlers’ recent home record which shows they have won five games in a row.

Carlisle are on a good run of form away though and are unbeaten in three, including an eye catching 4-1 win at Salford which sent them up to sixth in the League Two table.

The two teams cancelled each other out at Brunton Park two weeks ago in a 0-0 draw, a week after Walsall had beaten Wycombe in the first round,

Flynn said: “It would be nice to get into the next round and get a decent tie, make some money if we did go out but hopefully win, then concentrate on the league

“The club deserves a pay day as do all of them at this level but not everyone can get it of course.

“We have seen in the past how a good Cup win and a lucrative tie can set a club up but first of all we have to get through this round.

“We know Carlisle and what they are about, obviously we have played them recently, the two teams probably cancelled each other out but they are riding high in the table, Paul has done a good job there and the win at Salford will have probably raised a few eyebrows

“We have hit a good run of home form, coupled with away performances and we are hoping to continue that into the Cup.

“Of course we are delighted to have been drawn out of the hat first because one of the things you would ask for at the start of the draw is a home game

“It should be a good game for the spectators and as I said last week the crowd will help.

“We are hoping for a bigger turnout than normal due to other clubs in the area not playing and the interest gained from it being in the Cup, so hopefully the fans will be our 12th man.”

Walsall achieved a memorable victory at League One Wycombe three weeks ago with goals from Jacob Maddox and Isaac Hutchinson and Carlisle beat Tranmere 2-1 at home with goals from Jordan Gibson and Jayden Harris

They were unchanged against Crawley last week but Liam Bennett may not be available depending on parent club Cambridge United who are also involved in the second round.

The winners of the tie will scoop £67,000 in prize money alone and Carlisle boss Paul Simpson – a former Walsall player – also spoke this week of the importance of the game to his club financially.

He said: “I like the FA Cup.

“It’s a really important competition – not only for the history of the FA Cup but the financial rewards we could possibly get if we can get ourselves through.”

Walsall last reached the third round in 2018-19 when they lost 5-2 to Bolton Wanderers. Carlisle last reached the same stage a season later when they took Cardiff City to a replay before going out.

Just like Walsall, the Cumbrians have their own 12-goal striker in Kristian Dennis whose tally has come in 19 games – he was on the bench for the recent league game at Brunton Park, but scored two at Salford.

Morgan Feeney and on-loan Fin Back could be missing for the visitors after both defenders went off injured during the Salford victory.

Beck is thought to be a long-term injury doubt.

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