Cup draw gives us a sniff of Wembley, says Tony
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 18 February 2013
Caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk admits the club will have the scent of Wembley in its nostrils should his side beat Everton in the forthcoming fifth-round replay.
Following the dramatic 2-2 home draw on Saturday, Athletic's first appearance in the quarter-final draw in nearly two decades handed the club a home tie with Wigan - provided Everton can be beaten away.
If Athletic win - a provisional date is February 27 (7.45pm) - he is confident his team is capable of landing a semi-final place, just as in 1994 when cruelly denied the final by Manchester United.
"It’s a good draw for us," Philliskirk said. "Another home tie and a potential derby against a team who played well to win 4-1 at Huddersfield yesterday.
"But we also have to be realistic. We have got to go to Goodison and win there, and that will be difficult."
The financial aspect of the 2-2 draw is of huge benefit to Athletic, who had made an estimated £450,000 from their FA Cup run even before the Everton tie.
The broadcast fee for Saturday netted the club an additional £233,200, on top of the split takings from a nearly-full Boundary Park.
The replay is expected to be given the green light today for TV coverage, which would hand Athletic another £116,600 broadcast fee. Add to that 42.5 per cent of the Goodison Park gate receipts and it is clear to see why chairman Simon Corney believes Athletic will end up in the black at the end of the season - for only the second time in his 10-seasons with the club.
Athletic remain in relegation trouble in npower League One, but a win at Stevenage tomorrow would haul the club out of the bottom four.
"We have got to knuckle down and work hard," Philliskirk said. "It is as important a game as the one on Saturday. We will try to refresh the boys - there were a lot of tired legs out there. Maybe we will need to change one or two things round."
TWELVE page match special in tonight’s print and eChron editions.
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