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BRISTOL CITY boss Lee Johnson has urged his players to believe they can emulate the club’s famous giant-killing against Liverpool when they host Manchester United in tonight’s League Cup quarter-final.
The Robins pulled off a shock 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay victory at Anfield in 1994, with Brian Tinnion netting the winner.
Johnson referred to that moment as he spoke before tonight’s match of his men needing to “feel somebody could be that hero” against United.
He said: “It is a fantastic game. When Man United come to town, I think it always brings that feeling of it being a big tie and this club hasn’t had it for a long time, probably back to people like Brian Tinnion, that iconic goal against Liverpool.
“The players have got to feel somebody could be that hero in this game.”
City, third in the Championship and victorious in their last four league games, go into tonight’s contest having already, in previous rounds, seen off three of United’s fellow Premier League sides in Watford, Stoke and Crystal Palace.
“We respect the fact they are going to have a world-class XI, whichever one they choose to put out,” Johnson said.
“However, we are in good form and I think the players’ confidence is as good as it could be.
“I think we have a group that’s very hungry to prove how good they are and it’s a chance for the players and the club to enhance their reputations. For us there is minimal pressure involved apart from that which we put on ourselves to perform.
“I think this is a difficult place to play [for visiting teams] and it will be on Wednesday given the atmosphere.
“I know our fans and it will be an unbelievable atmosphere, and if we can get on the front foot, cause a few problems, then who knows?”
Johnson also expressed his admiration for United counterpart Jose Mourinho and revealed he had ordered a “very expensive” bottle of wine he hoped to share with the Portuguese.
“He’s world-class and someone I have studied of course,” Johnson said.
“I’ve ordered in a very expensive bottle of wine. I’ve had to raid my little girl’s piggy bank, so I’ll be really disappointed if he doesn’t come in and at least taste it. It has to be poured specially, it is that good.
“You look up to these guys, people like Mourinho and [Manchester City boss] Pep Guardiola, and the English ones like [Bournemouth’s] Eddie Howe and [Burnley’s] Sean Dyche and it’s my ambition for this football club and myself to be competing against these guys on a more regular basis.”
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