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Duff hails importance of Man City draw

12 January 2021

Boss Michael Duff is well aware of the impact drawing Premier League giants Manchester City will have on helping to support Cheltenham Town during one of the most challenging periods in the club's history.

On Monday night the FA Cup fourth round draw handed the Robins a tie against the six time winners Man City, and with it a high profile tie in the world famous competition.

All eyes will be on the Jonny-Rocks Stadium when Pep Guardiola brings his star studded team to Gloucestershire, but with the club facing one of the most critical periods in its history Duff recognises how the financial contribution the tie will bring is crucial to ensure Cheltenham Town can continue operating.

"It's a fantastic draw for everybody associated with the football club," he told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

"Hopefully we get a TV game, that will be confirmed in the next two or three days.

"Every pound in is the equivalent of ten normally because there's nothing coming in. It will help the club, even just the sponsorship side of it.

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"There's been a lot of hard work put in at the football club - not just in my two-and-a-half years - in the last 10, 15, 20 years you can go back as long as you want. It's probably the best draw the club has ever had. It's just a shame that supporters won't be able to attend."

Man City last won the competition in 2019 when goals from David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling secured a 6-0 hammering in the final against Watford.

Having overcome South Shields, Crewe Alexandra and Mansfield Town in the competition so far Duff is well aware of the step up in challenge the seven-time champions of England will bring.

"The lads won't need telling too much," he added. "Normally we do strengths and weaknesses of the oppositon, but I think we'll just do strengths on Man City! I'm not sure there are too many weaknesses.

"All of the players will know all of their players. They'll know what they are good at and it's just going and enjoy yourself.

"My wife said to me yesterday you've played in the play-offs and now you've drawn Man City and me and the boys can't go and watch which is obviously a shame but it's still a great draw for the football club."

As well as helping the club towards the significant recovery that's needed because of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, the Robins boss is hoping some of the money earned from the tie may also potentially help in terms of bringing in potential new recruits in the January transfer window to bolster the squad in the second half of the season.

"In terms of recruitment it sounds negative but it's probably the least important thing at the minute. It's getting the club through this period and this will definitely help.

"We've never broke the bank to get anyone in. Yes we've got targets and yes this will hopefully help in terms of finances and even the attention of the media potentially attracting a player.

"I'm going to a game tonight to watch a player. Whether it gets done or whether it doesn't we don't know.

"There are always targets. Every manager will have a list for every position."

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