Walsall manager Michael Flynn fumes as Leicester FA Cup is untelevised

‘I can’t believe it’s not on TV’: Walsall manager Michael Flynn fumes at Saddlers’ FA Cup clash with Leicester being left in the cold with ITV preferring Manchester United at home to Reading for the FOURTH time in 10 years

  • The battling League Two club are out to cause another cup shock on Saturday  
  • Walsall host Brendan Rodgers’ Premier League strugglers at Bescot Stadium 
  • ITV4 has chosen the 8pm fixture at Old Trafford ahead of the lunchtime match

Walsall boss Michael Flynn has expressed his disbelief that his side’s bid to knock Leicester out of the FA Cup will not be televised.

The Saddlers, who are 11th in League Two, will attempt to produce a giantkilling in the fourth round against Brendan Rodgers’ faltering side, who are 65 places above them in the league pyramid.

Yet the Saturday lunchtime clash at Bescot Stadium has been overlooked by television companies, who have nevertheless opted to show Manchester United’s meeting with Championship side Reading at Old Trafford at 8pm that day – even though this is the fifth time since 2007 that the draw has produced this match-up.

Walsall manager Michael Flynn is unhappy that the Saddlers will not be on ITV this weekend

‘I can’t believe it’s not on TV,’ Flynn told Sportsmail. ‘Someone said I was fuming that Leeds’ game with Accrington will be on television – but I have never mentioned another club. I would never be so disrespectful.

‘We have to make sure we do not lose sight of what the FA Cup is about. It is about dreams – for the non-league clubs who enter in the qualifying rounds, to the lower league clubs who get the chance to play Premier League sides.

‘Perhaps some people are more interested in viewing figures than what the Cup is about. 

The League Two club play home to former Premier League champions, Leicester City

‘I’ve watched the FA Cup since I was a kid and it is magical. I dreamed of playing and managing in it.’

The decision is all the more puzzling given Flynn’s record in the competition. As Newport boss, he knocked Leicester out at the third-round stage four years ago, before taking Tottenham to a replay at Wembley.

And the history of this tie will make Leicester a little more nervous. On January 30, 1978 – nearly 45 years ago to the day – Walsall beat them 1-0 in the FA Cup.

Andy Williams (L) was crucial to the Saddlers’ win over Stockport County in the third round

Flynn is well aware of that detail. He added: ‘We back ourselves. We have to be prepared and the players have to realise what is coming. You get punished much more quickly against players of this calibre.

‘We have to disrupt them and make it hard for them to play against us, and we’ll need a little bit from Lady Luck. 

‘Let’s hope one or two of the Leicester players have an off day. We will give it a go.’

Manchester United & Reading will be shown on ITV4, despite playing four times in 10 years

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