Mark Robins out to stop former club Manchester United in FA Cup

Mark Robins (main image) is remembered as the man who reportedly kept Sir Alex Ferguson in his job back in 1990 when his late winner against Nottingham Forest helped Manchester United reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.

He would also score against Newcastle in the fifth round as United went on to win Ferguson’s first silverware with the club by beating Crystal Palace 1-0 in a replay after the final had ended 3-3.

Ferguson had struggled for three seasons, and many had expected him to get the sack if they lost to Forest, but Robins helped turn things around.

Robins, a product of the club’s youth academy, failed to kick on after making the first team, and left the club in 1992, missing out on a flood of trophies under Ferguson.

Now manager of Coventry, Robins leads his side out at Wembley on April 21 (10.30pm), in the semifinals of this year’s FA Cup against his old club.

It is the first time Coventry has reached the final four of this competition since their surprise 1987 victory over Tottenham.

The Championship side is the only team outside the English Premier League still in the tournament – Manchester City meets Chelsea in the other tie.

Coventry is eighth in the Championship, eight points outside the playoff zone, and the FA Cup represents its last chance for silverware this season.

It faces an inconsistent United, which is trying to reach the final for the second year in a row – it lost last year’s final 2-1 to Manchester City.

Coventry reached the last four by edging Wolves 3-2, while United defeated Liverpool 4-3.

Like Ferguson 34 years ago, Erik ten Hag may need to win the FA Cup to save his job, with speculation mounting that Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi is the man Sir Jim Ratcliffe hopes to woo to Old Trafford.

On paper, United should win this one comfortably, but the FA Cup is known for its upsets.

City, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from its defeat to Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, while Chelsea’s sole chance of qualifying for Europe next season is to win this tournament.

In the Premier League, Arsenal can return to the top of the table when it faces Wolves on April 21 (2.30am).

Like City, Arsenal lost in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and only has the league to play for.

Similarly, Liverpool, which is third, can climb above City if it beats

FIXTURES (Malaysian times)
SATURDAY
Luton vs Brentford (10pm)
Sheffield United vs Burnley (10pm)

SUNDAY
Wolves vs Arsenal (2.30am)
Everton vs Nottingham Forest (8.30pm)
Crystal Palace vs West Ham (10pm)
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth (10pm)
Fulham vs Liverpool (11.30pm)

FA CUP (Semifinals)
SUNDAY
Manchester City vs Chelsea (12.15am)
Coventry vs Manchester United (10.30pm)

Main image by Coventry City FC

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