Kidd urges City to 'smell the hot dogs'

Manchester City have been urged to finish off Notts County in the FA Cup so they can start "smelling the Wembley hot dogs".

Updated: February 19, 2011 10:47 IST
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Manchester: Manchester City have been urged to finish off Notts County in the FA Cup so they can start "smelling the Wembley hot dogs".

Roberto Mancini's expensively-assembled side were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by the League One club last month but will book a fifth round date with Aston Villa if they overcome County in Sunday's replay at Eastlands.

That will leave City just 180 minutes away from the semi-final and on the brink of a Wembley appearance.

"I have a saying that once you get into the semi-final, you can start smelling the hot dogs," said Brian Kidd, Mancini's assistant at City.

"You have to wait that late and not take anything for granted. You don't have to be the best team to win it, you can get lucky in the draw and play well on the day.

"Anyone can beat a team that's fancied and that is the beauty of the FA Cup."

Kidd won the FA Cup twice in his role as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, and he is determined to help Mancini clinch his first piece of silverware as City look to end a 35-year wait for major cup success.

"Once you win the FA Cup, it's intoxicating - a great feeling," added Kidd, who helped Ferguson mastermind victories over Chelsea in 1994 and Liverpool in 1996.

"When you win a trophy it's like an injection and you want more of it. The FA Cup is fantastic and although people might say times have changed, the final is a memorable day.

"I can remember the brass bands and the white suits and the rest. It is a fantastic occasion."

Only a late equaliser by Edin Dzeko, City's 27 million pound signing from Wolfsburg, spared City's blushes at Notts County three weeks ago after Neal Bishop had put the club from the third tier within sight of a major upset.

Kidd insists City, who sit third in the table following last Saturday's defeat to Manchester United, will not be taking the replay for granted.

"We aim very high as a club," he added. "At the start of the season we said we wanted to make the top four of the Premier League and pick up a trophy.

"We have a good strong squad but we are respectful to every team we play."

Nigel de Jong (ankle) and James Milner (hamstring) are both injury concerns although Mario Balotelli is expected to feature after emerging unscathed after making his long-awaited return from a knee injury as a substitute in the Europa League in midweek.

Notts County will be backed by over 4,000 fans, each hoping that the team managed by former Manchester United and England player Paul Ince can claim a second Premier League scalp after knocking out Sunderland in the previous round.

"We need to take belief from the game up at Sunderland and also the original tie against Manchester City," said defender Graeme Lee.

"We know that it will be difficult because the pitch will be a lot smoother and they can zip the ball around a lot more.

"But we have just got to go there with confidence and if we can perform then you never know. Things happen in the FA Cup that don't always follow the script."

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