Brighton & Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy says that the side will head to Wembley Stadium next month full of optimism of pulling off an Emirates FA Cup upset against Manchester City.
The Seagulls reached the last four of the historic competition last weekend for the first time in 36 years after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Millwall at The Den, and the Irishman buoyantly looked ahead to the tie in the capital with Pep Guardiola’s men.
He said, “It’s a huge achievement for the football club and massive for this group of players because not a lot of them have been to Wembley before.
“We know what we’re up against, so we’ll go and give it our best – the game last Sunday shows how special the competition is.
“We’ll go there and believe, it’s the magic of it if you beat them, I’m excited for it and its massive to think where we’ve come from – everyone’s come such a long way.
“The fans have been brilliant, even when we were two down and it was a great day for them.”
Late goals from Jurgen Locadia and Solly March sent last weekend’s tie in south London to extra time before Chris Hughton’s men prevailed in the shootout, and Duffy reflected honestly on the rollercoaster of an afternoon.
“The main feeling was relief, because in the second half they really came at us and we didn’t really turn up.
“We made a few mistakes and they got the upper hand with the crowd – but the comeback shows the belief and the character that exists within this team and I kept saying to everyone that if we got one back, we’d get another.
“We kept believing and we got a bit of the luck in the end.”
The defender also revealed how both he and his central defensive partner on the afternoon rallied the troops when the Seagulls had their backs against the wall and found themselves two goals down, highlighting his belief that the team could find a way back into the contest.
“Me and Lewis [Dunk] were telling everyone out there that if we got one we’d get another one, they sat back and that’s the way football goes – we then dominated extra time but then Maty Ryan was the hero.
“Credit to Millwall it’s a tough place to come, the way they play they forces you into mistakes and it was a lot different to what we’re up against at the moment in the Premier League.
“It was a tough afternoon, but we got the win and that’s all that matters.
“I was last on the list to take a penalty! We did it twice in training and you saw from the takers that it worked – I was happy that I didn’t have to take one, but it was all planned before the game.”