Date: 6th March 2008 at 8:48am
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Darren Anderton has joined the growing list of former Pompey players, including Andy Awford, Guy Whittingham and Paul Walsh, as well as current players and members of the coaching set up in thinking we can beat United – but he not only thinks he hopes we can as he still has plenty of admiration for Pompey and the fans, plus the semi final heartache we suffered 16 years ago still gets to him even now?

Anderton, who famously scored the goal that had us within minutes of beating Liverpool and getting into the 1992 FA cup final told The News: ‘I’ve still got a lot of affection for the club and I know a lot of fans think they were robbed in 1992 – some of the players still do as well!

‘So I’d love to see Pompey go on and win the FA Cup – it would be great for a team from outside the top four to win it this season.

‘It’s always a tough game at Old Trafford, but the current Portsmouth side are well capable of going up there and getting a result.

‘Of course, Manchester United are favourites – but they are favourites whenever they play.

‘Harry Redknapp has done great things and they are full of top players these days, so it wouldn’t be a massive upset if they went up there and won’.

The then talented 20-year-old scored 5 goals as he helped us get to the semi final, his 5th and final goal for us in that seasons FA cup – his final cup goal for us full stop – is one that I still see in my head over and over, seeing him race away to then beat Bruce Grobbelaar was something else? Equally though I still see the John Barnes free kick off the post for Ronnie Whelan – who, although I may be wrong, did he not take out Mark Chamberlain early in the game? – to score the equaliser 4 minutes from time?

Anderton also recalled how we went into that game as huge underdogs and outsiders but never lacked the self belief to think we could do well, he is also convinced – as I am sure each and everyone of us are – that had we beaten Liverpool we would have beaten Sunderland in the final: ‘we went there and just enjoyed it. It was the first huge game for all of us and we weren’t overawed by the occasion.

‘None of us went up there thinking “We could get smashed here,” although I’m sure some people were expecting that.

‘We didn’t expect to beat Liverpool, but we wanted to put up a good show – and we certainly did that.

‘It was just a shame we couldn’t hang on because I’m sure we would have beaten Sunderland in the final’.

Comparisons between these two games can be drawn, in many ways although United are a much better team than that Liverpool side were, we are also a much better team than we were then, but the gulf in quality is not much different? if we approach the game with the same attitude as the boys from 92 then there is no reason why we cannot pull off the upset this time and again be within one game of the cup final, hopefully this time going that extra step?

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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