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CHELTENHAM boss Michael Duff believes that pulling off a win against Manchester City tomorrow would be “the biggest upset in cup history.”
The FA Cup fourth-round tie pits the Robins against City for the first time, with the League Two promotion-chasers sat 72 places below the six-time winners.
Pep Guardiola’s Premier League giants head to the Jonny Rocks Stadium unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions — having not conceded in their last five — and Duff believes that their indomitable form sets up a historic mismatch.
“This would be the biggest upset in cup history, just because of their dominance against Premier League teams,” he said.
“One of their players’ wages for the week would probably pay our whole payroll for a couple of months — but that’s football. There are always the haves and the have nots.”
Duff is realistic, but insisted that the Robins will do all they can to make Guardiola’s side comfortable and will not try any tricks to gain an edge.
“They’ll be getting changed in a bar, we’ll make it as hospitable as we can — and the one thing they will like is the pitch. You are not going to get a Ronnie Radford scene where it’s a ploughed field,” he said, invoking the folkloric 1972 FA Cup giant-killing of Newcastle United by Hereford.
Ex-defender Duff also admitted a personal connection with the tie, having lived in Manchester during his 12 years at Burnley after joining from Cheltenham in 2004.
Sons Tommy and Jack were both born there; Tommy, 12, is a City fan and Jack, 10, supports United.
“It’s a double-edged sword, they are buzzing for the game but gutted they can’t be there,” he said.
“They are both Mancs, they are not glory hunters. You can see Old Trafford from the room they were both born in.”
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