Last Updated: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 13:05
Michael Appleton believes the pressure is off Blackburn when they travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Rovers have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes since the former Portsmouth manager opted to leave Blackpool and succeed ex-Norway international Henning Berg in the Ewood Park hotseat.
The 1-1 draw with Brighton in midweek extended their unbeaten run to five matches and moved them up to eighth in the npower Championship table, six points off the final play-off place.
That streak includes a 3-0 away win over Derby that helped Appleton's side, relegated from the Barclays Premier League last term, earn a fifth-round tie against the Gunners.
With the pressure building on Rovers to try and earn promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt, Appleton insists the cup is a welcome distraction.
"I think it is certainly a weekend off in terms of the league fixtures," Appleton told the club's official website.
"With the FA Cup game on Saturday it does give us an opportunity to enjoy the match more than we would in a normal league game."
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