Feature: City need the Robins effect

Last updated : 14 January 2004 By Ben Collins

City then face each of the top three, plus Liverpool, in the following 6 league games so if Keegan can’t turn the tide by Saturday evening, then I don’t think he will. Certainly not within the next 2 months, after which City will most likely have slumped into a relegation dogfight.

Tonight’s cup tie therefore evokes memories of Mark Robins at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground in 1990.

Many claim that if the young striker had not scored the winner to keep United in the Cup then Alex Ferguson would have been heading down to the job centre. The Reds of course went on to win the Cup that year and I don’t need to remind you what else they’ve achieved since.

Now I’m not saying if City win tonight we can look forward to a decade of domestic dominance.

What I am saying is that if City clinch that elusive win tonight, it will be a tremendous boost of confidence that could galvanise our underachieving stars for a push to salvage something from the season.

That hotly contested fourth Champions League spot is still up for grabs and I believe that if we can put a run together we can snatch it.

Results need to improve soon though, ie, by Saturday. Since the Leeds draw, our performances have been there but the old ‘rub of the green’ hasn’t. Surely that rotten spell of luck can’t get any worse than on Saturday at Portsmouth.

Plus Keegan has stunned not only outsiders but us City fans too with the capture of David James. (Really, we should have bought him in the summer instead of bringing Seaman in but that argument can wait for another day.) We needed a keeper and who better to get than the England Number One.

Things are looking up. That shock signing has put the players and the fans back on a high. All we need now is a little luck and we’ll witness a classic cup victory tonight.