Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Southgate Keen to Blunt Blades; on the Boro Beat the FA CUP-E On

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Southgate Keen to Blunt Blades; on the Boro Beat the FA CUP-E On

Article excerpt


GARETH SOUTHGATE believes both sides go into tomorrow's FA Cup showdown at Bramall Lane with genuine belief.

The Boro boss insists he's just pleased his team aren't looking ahead to yet another cup trip to Manchester United while also acknowledging the fact that Sheffield United will be fancying their chances of causing another upset.

The Blades, of course, sent Manchester City packing in the last round, winning 2-1 on home soil in bizarre circumstances.

A balloon-strewn goalmouth cost the Blues dearly, when Michael Ball got tangled up by the rogue inflatables and missed an incoming ball, which United gratefully converted.

The fact that the balloons had been released by the visiting fans only served to increase City's frustration.

It's United who've been at sixes and sevens this week, though, after manager Bryan Robson walked out.

The former Boro boss had been the subject of fans' frustrations after a series of poor results left the club floundering in the bottom half of the Championship.

Sheffield United plc chairman Kevin McCabe asked Robson to consider a director of football role, but he declined on Thursday and Kevin Blackwell was rapidly appointed until the end of the season.

Despite the upheaval, Southgate still expects a tough afternoon in the Steel City. He said: "I think it's a cup tie where there is something in it for everybody.

"I think they will feel that it's a chance of an upset, we feel we would sooner go there than Old Trafford.

"But we know it's a very, very tough game. I think it's got the makings of a cracking day and it's again for us a break from the league and the pressure of that.

"Every round we've been under pressure in a sense but we've thought it isn't really pressure because what we do week in, week out is the bread and butter and the cup is an adventure that we want to enjoy. …

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