Most fans would be chomping at the bit at the thought of a home second leg in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup, but not this time.
What is effectively half-time, we find ourselves 6-0 down to one of the best teams in the Premier league, if not Europe. Manchester City, no-doubt have a strike force to scare the life out of defenders, no matter what the team. The impressive partnership of Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko have struck up in recent weeks is awe inspiring.
And there’s also Sergio Aguero, who made a scoring comeback against Blackburn Rovers in the FA cup. He is, without doubt, world class.
But City don’t only rely on their strikers to get them goals. It seems everyone wants to get their name on the score-sheet at the Etihad Stadium. Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri, Fernandinho and James Milner are all chipping in with goals. In fact, they’ve bagged seventeen goals in their last four games without conceding a single goal, so to say the task ahead is equivalent to skiing UP a mountain is an under statement.
So what’s to play for? Well, Big Sam says we have to play for pride. Asked about his approach to Tuesdays game he replied: “Well I think that obviously, based on the first-leg, it’s not something that we wanted to happen but of course it’s something we have to face.
“It’s about playing a game of football in a competitive manner at home and trying to win it. We know it’s highly, highly unlikely that we’re going to get through but you’re playing at home, you’re playing for pride, you’re playing to try and get a result and your team’s trying to play well.”
He should also have James Tomkins and Kevin Nolan back from suspension, plus Andy Carroll is hungry for game time after missing most of the season so far. The manager is expected to field a strong team but this game could also be a good time to give some of the younger, fringe players a run out.
Give them a taste of what it feels like to run out on a flood lit Upton park with hopefully a decent crowd, and be able to play without any pressure.
The result should be irrelevant, because the chances of the team scoring seven are as remote as any chance of me ever buying a One Direction CD. As much as I would love to have a bit of silverware in the empty trophy cabinet, I have to be realistic and realize it won’t be happening this season.
So this game should be a good chance to bring back some suspended players, some players recovering from injury and some promising youth and fringe players – without the pressure we can bring a little pride back to E13.