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Coventry’s Robins plots Man Utd downfall in FA Cup semi

Messenger Sports

Published: 10:36, 20 April 2024

Coventry’s Robins plots Man Utd downfall in FA Cup semi

Photo: Collected

Mark Robins scored the goal that helped launch Manchester United's era of dominance. Now he is plotting to deepen their misery in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday as Coventry boss.

The 54-year-old scored against Nottingham Forest in the third round of the competition in 1990, a goal that turned out to be a turning point in the history of United and was widely credited with saving Alex Ferguson's job.

Robins also scored the winner in the semi-final against Oldham and United went on to lift the cup, the first of a cascade of trophies under Ferguson, who oversaw their last Premier League title win in 2013.

The former forward, who came through the youth ranks at Old Trafford, played just 61 times for United but he has a special place in the hearts of the club's fans.

Now he has another chance to influence the history of United by heaping the pressure on Erik ten Hag, who has had a dismal second season in charge.

Despite their woes, United will be firm favourites at Wembley to progress to a final against Manchester City or Chelsea, but the result is far from a foregone conclusion.

United are winless in their past four matches since their dramatic 4-3 quarter-final victory against Liverpool, with their hopes of Champions League football next season all but over.

The good news for Ten Hag's men is that 1997 FA Cup winners Coventry have themselves stuttered in recent weeks, losing three of their past four games to slip off the pace in their bid to reach the Championship play-offs.

But Coventry will almost certainly get opportunities against a United team who concede a remarkable number of chances, with in-form striker Ellis Simms and Haji Wright posing a goal threat.