In a match up that will have commentators, fans and players alike salivating at the history, rivalry and excitement of it all, Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips is relishing at the opportunity to play Manchester United in a derby FA Cup semi final.
Wright-Phillips was a member of the Manchester City squad when they were in the second division and feels he has a strong connection with the history of the United derby.
"It may mean a little bit more to me because I know what our fans have been through," Wright-Phillips told reporters. "I have been through a hell of a lot with them and hopefully as a team, we can realise their dreams as well as achieving one of our own.''
Manchester United have a sign up at Old Trafford with nothing more than the number 34 (though it’s nearly 35 now). For Manchester City fans, this sign has taunted them ever since City won their last trophy 34 and a half years ago. And Wright-Phillips knows the emotions that come over the players when they come up against United.
"I have been down this road so many times and we always get United, so to me it was inevitable,'' he said. "We found out in the warm-up and it gave us all a laugh because we had all guessed it would happen.
"A few of the lads felt it would have been nice to get them in the final, but we have them in the semi so now we have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Wright-Phillips has fallen out of favour with manager Roberto Mancini of late, but played the full 90 minutes in the FA Cup quarter final against Reading. The time on the pitch has only made the City winger more hungry to play their cross town rivals, and he believes that they can win.
"I wouldn't say the last couple of years has been a learning process for us against United, but our concentration has let us down slightly in the last five minutes against them.
"They always score late winner against us, so we need to keep our focus right to the end. Then I think we will be fine.''
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