The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Joe Leavey

MARC Bola never had the chance to turn out on the green grass of the Emi­rates Sta­dium as a Gun­ner, so he cer­tainly made the most of his op­por­tu­nity on Wed­nes­day night.

Bola im­pressed at left­back as his Black­pool side gave Arse­nal a scare in their Carabao Cup fourth round match-up, with the Pre­mier League gi­ants hold­ing on to the slimmest of 2-1 wins.

The 20-year-old full­back had come through the ranks in N5 but was re­leased in the sum­mer be­fore promptly be­ing picked up by the Tan­ger­ines.

You’d be for­given for think­ing, then, that the oc­ca­sion might prove daunt­ing for Bola, but in fact the com­fort of fac­ing up against for­mer team­mates proved to have the op­po­site ef­fect.

“It felt a bit like train­ing be­cause I’ve known these boys for so long,” he said.

“It was just good to get out there at my dream club. It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence for me.

“We hung in the game and we were ap­ply­ing pres­sure, so I think they had to make changes.

“We did re­ally well and we’re pleased with our­selves.

“It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence for all the boys and I’m just proud to have been on the pitch to play against my old club.”

Arse­nal had to call on the likes of Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang and Lucas Tor­reira from the bench af­ter Black­pool had threat­ened an equaliser in north Lon­don.

Paudie O’Con­nor’s sec­ond-half header had made things in­ter­est­ing, but his straight red card with the game near­ing its con­clu­sion took the sting out of Black­pool’s tail.

But Bola stressed that the League One side should be proud of their per­for­mance, de­spite the de­feat.

“We are pleased with our­selves to do as well as we did,” he added.

EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Marc Bola

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