LONDON, England, October 25 – Aldershot are eyeing a League Cup upset against Manchester United on Tuesday as Sir Alex Ferguson’s shattered side attempt to bounce back from their mauling by Manchester City.
United travel to Hampshire barely 48 hours after being savaged 6-1 by City at Old Trafford, with Ferguson desperate to shake the defeat out of his team’s system as quickly as possible.
“You have to recover,” Ferguson declared after Sunday’s mauling. “In the history of Manchester United, it is another day and we’ll recover from this, there’s no question about that.”
Aldershot manager Dean Holdsworth is hoping his team can conjure up the spirit of Wimbledon’s “Crazy Gang” as they prepare to face United.
Holdsworth, who played at Wimbledon for five seasons between 1992 and 1997, is looking forward to pitting his managerial skills against Ferguson.
“This game will be the biggest honour of my footballing life. To stand in a dugout next to Sir Alex will be unbelievable, he is a genius,” Holdsworth said.
“I can’t wait to shake his hand and challenge myself against him. But I do believe we have got a chance of getting a result.
“I always say when the odds are against you that’s fine, but what the odds don’t know is this is only a game of football.
“If we do things right on the pitch we will do well, we have a good side.
“I’ve played at Old Trafford, I’ve won there — and now I want to get through to the next round.
“I think Sir Alex could probably do without this game, he’s got bigger things to worry about than little Aldershot.
“But one of the biggest clubs in the world are coming to us, and we’ll love this moment. Just as Wimbledon loved being against the world.”
Ferguson, whose side beat Leeds in the previous round, is likely to shuffle his line-up with the likes of Park Ji-Sung, Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen expected to feature against Aldershot.
In other fourth round matches, Arsenal will face Bolton at the Emirates with Arsene Wenger’s men chasing their seventh win in eight matches.
Bolton were beaten 3-0 by the Gunners in the league fixture last month, and Wanderers boss Owen Coyle will have to rally his troops after another dispiriting loss in the league against Sunderland on Saturday.
“We know we have got a good set of players who want to do well for the club, supporters and themselves. We have to retain that belief because we have the capability to deliver results,” Coyle said.
Wednesday sees four all-Premier League matches, with in-form City likely to rest their front-line players against Wolves.
Elsewhere Everton face Chelsea at Goodison Park while Liverpool travel to Stoke aiming to avenge their 1-0 league defeat suffered at the Britannia last month.
Aldershot v Manchester United. Arsenal v Bolton. Cardiff v Burnley. Crystal Palace v Southampton
Blackburn v Newcastle (2000). Everton v Chelsea (2000). Stoke v Liverpool. Wolves v Man City.