Saturday 24 January 2015

Cambridge replay not new experience for Reds

Manchester United will be in the hat for the fifth round when the draw is made on Monday but to secure our passage outright we will have to dispose of valiant League Two Cambridge at the second attempt.

The Reds have been here before: United were held 0-0 by then Conference sides Exeter and Burton in successive seasons in 2004/05 and then 2005/06.
More recently in 2011, non league Crawley came within inches of taking United back to West Sussex as they narrowly went down 1-0 in the fifth round.
On both those earlier occasions United came out on top in the replay and will be red hot favourites to do so again this time around as the Old Trafford game will be a totally different scenario to Friday's stalemate.

The narrow confines of the Abbey Stadium certainly proved a big leveller in Friday night's encounter; United did not have the space and width to stretch the game and press Cambridge high enough.

Old Trafford's vast, energy-sapping pitch will play right into United's hands: we will stretch the game more, press Cambridge higher and they will tire quickly making it easier for the Reds to break them down.

The 3rd February replay in Manchester will earn Cambridge in excess of £1million with a share of gate receipts, ticket sales, TV revenue and sponsorship.
Not only that, but for their players and fans it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit one of sport's greatest arenas.

It is what the FA Cup is all about and just goes to show that anything can happen in the world's oldest domestic cup competition.

Asked if he thought his Cambridge side, 75 places below United in the league system, can go to Old Trafford and win, Us boss Richard Money said:

No, I don't think we have much of a chance, but you never know.
“I said after the game in the dressing room:
“You're going to Old Trafford.
“Who cares what happens, just go an enjoy it and soak it in. It's a once in a lifetime chance for us. Whatever happens, happens.
“This club has been in the doldrums for 10 years, out of the Football League and almost out of existence at one stage and suddenly here were are taking everybody back to Old Trafford.
“It's incredible.”

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