Football: Robson ready as United aim to bounce back

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The Independent Online
FEW KNOW better than Bryan Robson what it means to lift the FA Cup. Three times with Manchester United, the former England captain climbed the famous 39 steps at Wembley to be handed the most recognisable of sporting trophies.

But now the Middlesbrough manager is plotting glory from the sidelines, and this year's third round draw could hardly have presented a bigger hurdle. Boro travel to Old Trafford tomorrow with the challenge of repeating their sensational 3-2 victory there a fortnight ago, but knowing that Alex Ferguson's side will be determined to restore their bruised pride.

"They don't get any tougher than at Old Trafford in the FA Cup, but everybody is looking forward to it," said Robson. "It will give the United lads that little bit of edge. They'll be disappointed that they got beaten by us at their own ground, so there'll be that little bit more of an incentive to make sure that we don't beat them again. In saying that, United is a difficult place to go at any time. The FA Cup has a great tradition and the United players will want to win it as much as the league.

"We're just going there to enjoy the day. We know it's going to be a tough game."

Boro were going well in the Premiership before the double setback last weekend, and still have hopes of qualifying for Europe through the league. And Robson insists that, whatever happens tomorrow, the FA Cup will not get in the way of the week-to-week business.

"The year that we got relegated, we were in both cup finals and if you're in both competitions right up to the final and you get replays, then you get a backlog," he said.

"It's difficult for the players to keep pace with all the games. But when you've only got the league and the FA Cup, your players can get enough rest and you can go on two fronts."

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