YORK City manager Neal Ardley reflected on the Emirates FA Cup and his most treasured memories of the competition- including clashes with giants Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Ardley has had plenty of experience in the FA Cup after managing the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Notts County and Solihull Moors and has reached the semi-finals of the competition on two occasions as a player.

It’s a memory Ardley looks back upon fondly, especially after being scaled with the task of handling a world-class striker such as Harry Kane, and how he prepared his side for a tough endeavour.

“I’ve had two FA Cup semi-finals that I’ve got to, and lost them both. Got to three League Cup semi-finals and lost them all!” Ardley laughed when telling the Press.

“As a manager, the Liverpool third round game with Steven Gerrard scoring both goals to beat us, but we gave them a real good run for their money.

“It was brilliant, and Tottenham at Wembley, we saw the team sheet coming out and Harry Kane was starting, which was great.

“(Mauricio) Pochettino had gone with a strong team and we worked really hard tactically as a manager, to come up with a way to play them.

“In training I gave the opposition two extra players, so it was 13 vs 11. Our players were saying ‘this isn’t fair, they’ve got two extra’ and I just said ‘what do you think it’s going to feel like playing against Liverpool or Spurs?’.

“We did it, the boys trained it all week, got it right and we were even at the Spurs game for 62 minutes at Wembley, we absolutely nailed the game plan, it was 0-0 and they hadn’t had a chance.

“That gives me satisfaction, once Kane got a sniff that was it, a goal and it’s over.

“That’s what you’re playing against, managing against Liverpool and Spurs in the third round was my biggest highlight.

“I was an apprentice at Wimbledon when they won the final, or just about to become an apprentice when they won in ’88, and what that did for the place was incredible.

“My dad stole my ticket, well I suppose he didn’t steal it, I had to give it to him.

“We only got given one ticket and my dad’s friends were going, so I gave it to my dad. He hasn’t paid me back, so we’ll have to get on with that.

“I’ve had a couple of good cup runs, we played Liverpool live on the telly in the third round when I was at AFC Wimbledon as manager.

“We played Spurs at Wembley when they had their season playing at Wembley, getting to the third round is a really good experience.

“I think a cup run is brilliant. We managed to limp ourselves through the fourth qualifying round, but if we can go and get a result then all of a sudden you find yourself into the second round.

“The draw comes out, and then you’re a game away from something that might be really exciting.

“That’s where it all sort of dawns on you that you could be in the hat for the third round. I’ve been in the hat for the third round, it’s pretty special whether if it is that Monday afternoon or the Monday night, it’s pretty special to get that tie that sets everything alight.

“The more I look back and the more I hear from people, the fans haven’t had the easiest ride here.

“I’ve made comments about how good they’ve been and how they’ve cheered us and got behind us, they haven’t showed their frustrations and know we’ve struggled but are trying to come out of it.

“If we can do something like I just said, which they haven’t had for 12 or 13 years, in the FA Cup that keeps it alive and gives them that feeling, then it will be great because they deserve it.”

Ardley also outlined his priorities as far as the competitions go, with the FA Cup high on the agenda, unlike the Isuzu FA Trophy.

“I’ve had it when I was Solihull manager and Wimbledon manager, there are different competitions that you go into.

“When you’ve got the league, the FA Cup is a priority, I’m not degrading it but the FA Trophy won’t even come high up on the list.

“The main thing we’ve got to do is start with the league, that’s where we’ve got to start and the FA Cup is a great competition.

“After that, the others will pick and choose as we see where we are nearer the time.

“This was a great opportunity for players that haven’t kicked the ball or started a game.”