Barnsley boss David Flitcroft has played down the Tykes' weekend clash with 2011 FA Cup winners Manchester City by claiming it isn't the biggest game of the season.

On Saturday, Roberto Mancini's men will host the Npower Championship outfit with the spoils of a Wembley semi-final spot on offer if Flitcroft's men can pull off a shock victory at the Etihad stadium. 

However, the 39-year-old insists that he has already passed a harder test.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Flitcroft said: "I think the Leeds game was the biggest. Knowing that you're fighting tooth and nail to get a job you really want.

"That was the biggest game for me and it probably always will be because the pressure, the intensity, the thrill of whether you're going to get the job or not was something that will live with me for the rest of my life."

Following Keith Hill's sacking in December, a replacement manager became increasingly difficult to find, with Sean O'Driscoll and Terry Butcher snubbing offers from Barnsley to replace the ex-Rochdale boss.

And caretaker manager Flitcroft staked his claim for a full-time position in Barnsley's 2 - 0 home win over Yorkshire rivals Leeds United.

That audition convinced the powers that be at Oakwell to give him the job on a permanent basis, a decision that seems to be paying off after just two defeats in 10 games - including FA Cup wins over Hull, MK Dons and Burnley.

"This is a different game," Flitcroft added. "It's one I'm happy for the players to be involved in and I'm happy for [assistants] Micky Mellon and Martin Scott, who was out of the game eight weeks ago. 

"Now they're going to be in the dugout competing against the champions of the country.

"There's a lot of excited fans as well, I think there's 6,000 coming and we could quite easily have got rid of 12,000.

"It's a real day out for them, who've had a lean time of it these last few years, so I'm delighted for them and the board.

"The club in general, I think we needed this pick-me-up."

Easing any concerns about the current relegation fight Barnsley are caught up in, Flitcroft promised the quarter-final clash will not jeopardise their battle to beat the drop.

He added: "It's absolutely vital that our league form is central to what we're doing."


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