'The FA Cup is absolutely massive for the boys'

Wednesday 02 February 2022 11:00

Manchester United icon Bryan Robson has underlined the importance of the Emirates FA Cup this season, stating the competition is “absolutely massive” for Ralf Rangnick’s Reds.

Captain Marvel lifted the trophy in 1983, 1985 and 1990 during his legendary career at Old Trafford and he knows exactly how the achievement can propel a squad on to better things. Specifically, the latter of those three successes directly led to Sir Alex Ferguson’s period of dominance.

United made a good start to this season’s FA Cup campaign by recording a 1-0 win over highly-rated Premier League side Aston Villa in the third round and the Reds are now preparing for Friday’s fourth-round tie with Middlesbrough.  
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Club captain Harry Maguire recently spoke about the group’s determination to go all the way this campaign and minds are fixed firmly on the challenge, which is music to Robson’s ears.

“The FA Cup is absolutely massive for the boys because, this group of players, what they have got to do is win something to get that confidence and belief in each other,” Bryan told us this week. 

“They have got to win something. That is why I said last season, it was so important to win that Europa League final because we had kept getting to the semi-finals and then to the final, but we still didn't get over the line to win something.
“As a group of players, when I look back to 1990 with Sir Alex, that first FA Cup and first major trophy win, that gave us all belief in each other because we had quite a lot of young lads in the squad at that time. You have to have belief to go on and keep winning things, and I think that is where this group of players are up to at this moment in time. They need to win something.”
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As a former Middlesbrough player and manager, Robson has lifelong connections with our fourth-round opponents and he is pleased to see them improving under new boss Chris Wilder. As Bryan told us, he endorsed that hire during a recent trip to see the Teessiders' owner and chairman. 

“The appointment of Chris Wilder is a really good decision by Steve Gibson. It's funny because a couple of months ago, in fact, I went up to stay with Steve and go out for dinner with him. 

“It was actually the weekend when he had allowed Neil Warnock to go and he brought in Wilder. He was chatting to me about what I thought and I said I thought he had made a great decision. 
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“When you look at Wilder, what he did with Sheffield United, getting out of the Championship into the Premier League, it is a great opportunity for you. I think Wilder is a good manager and I think he will do a really good job for Boro. He will make it difficult for us in a one-off game at Old Trafford.

“But I am just seeing signs of us having a little bit more devilment in our play and, with the ability that our lads have got, as long as we field a strong side, and I don't any reason why we wouldn't, then we should go on to win the game.”

United v Middlesbrough kicks off at 20:00 GMT on Friday.