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Leeds United's Michael Brown up for ‘toughie’ task
12:09pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in Sport
LEEDS United’s combative midfielder Michael Brown is excited at the prospect of facing his first team, English champions Manchester City, tomorrow.
Said Brown: “I started my career there 20 years ago when I joined them straight from school. It doesn’t seem that long ago now.
“It’s a great club and I’ve always enjoyed going back there and playing against them.”
The last time United made an FA Cup trip to the city, Leeds rocked the other Manchester club. Now Brown is hoping for a repeat tomorrow at City’s Etihad Stadium.
“I was hoping for a lesser draw with a more realistic chance of getting through,” he said.
“But if you were going to get a toughie then City would have been the perfect draw for me.
“I’ve got a few friends who are City fans who will give me some stick, but hopefully we can pull off a shock.”
Though Roberto Mancini’s men are the current top-tier champions, while Leeds’ bid to return to the Premier League has founddred this term, Brown insisted the gap was not too wide.
“The investment has taken them to another level – it’s obscene really – but it’s no wonder they are Premier League champions.
“I think we are similar sized clubs. City were sat in League One similar to Leeds – you could say as a sleeping giant – and hopefully we can come back again.”
For any shock to be produced, Brown admitted Leeds would have to be at their very best.
“Everyone wants to work hard, that’s a gimme, but everyone has to be on their game and hope maybe City are off it a little bit so you never know.
“I think we can go there and do well. We beat Tottenham, did well against Chelsea for an hour or so and beat Everton. The FA Cup is a very special cup, so why not?
“It’s not every day you get the chance to come up against the Premier League champions and test yourself against the best.”
Leeds boss Neil Warnock has revealed no injury problems meaning the club’s recent additions – striker Steve Morison and left-back Stephen Warnock – are both available for selection.
Meanwhile, City captain and defender Vincent Kompany (calf) is again unlikely to be risked by the top-flight hosts.
Striker Carlos Tevez is available again after personal issues and defender Matija Nastasic (knee) could also return, but midfielder Gareth Barry is unlikely to feature because of an unspecified problem.