Ex-Liverpool shot-stopper Chris Kirkland has backed Tranmere to get their second FA Cup giant-killing of the tournament when they take on Man United on Sunday.
Tranmere dumped Watford out last night after securing a 2-1 win via extra time in a 3rd round replay played on a Prenton Park pitch that the Premier League opposition struggled to get to grips with.
Dodgy pitch or not, Tranmere ran out deserved winners in a replay that was earned in dramatic fashion. After coming back from 3-0 down at Vicarage Road, Tranmere fought their way back into the tie and now gear up to welcome Manchester United in the fourth round on Sunday.
Manager Mickey Mellon has worked nothing short of miracles during his time in the hot seat, earning back-to-back promotions - taking The Whites from the National League to League 1. An impressive feat considering he only took over in October 2016.
One man who knows all about Micky Mellon is someone who has worked closely with the Tranmere boss in Chris Kirkland. Speaking to Love Sport Breakfast, Kirkland raved about Mellon’s impact on the club.
“Tranmere have such a great team spirit, tough in the league but you’ve got to remember they’ve had back to back promotions, they’ve gone up form National League, to League 2 and now they are in League 1.”
“This season was always going to be about consolidation and trying to stay in the league. I’m sure they will, they’ve got more than good enough players and more importantly a top manager and assistant manager behind them.”
Kirkland revealed he is going into Sunday’s clash with Manchester United full of optimism; “I think they can (win), Have you seen the pitch? The thing is, when you are at top teams - Manchester United will be used to top surfaces, you are used to them daily at training and matches at Old Trafford. When those players go to a lower league team and see the pitch, trust me they will say ‘oh my god’ before the game has even kicked off.”
“Tranmere will be used to it. Manchester United are going through a tough time at the minute as it is. It will be a great tie it will be a sell-out, it’s a Derby. Merseyside club against a Manchester club. They’ve got a great chance but we all know football sometimes on the day you need a bit of luck as well.”
There have been some calls for the FA to scrap the idea of replays to try and maintain the FA Cup’s ‘magic’, however Kirkland disagrees; “I think it’s on BT for them as well which is amazing, you know I’ve heard all this stuff about replays, you get a replay at the home of a bigger club and you’re on BT - that could set the club up for a year.”
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