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McAllister reflects on what could have been

Jamie McAllister admits to feeling a sense of “it could have been us” as City prepare to do battle with Stoke City in the Carabao Cup at Ashton Gate (7.45pm).

The third round tie in BS3 is the first time the two teams have met since 2007/08, when Stoke pipped City to an automatic promotion place in the Championship.

City went on to suffer a heartbreaking defeat to Hull City in the play-off final at Wembley, whereas Stoke haven’t looked back, now in their tenth season in the top flight.

McAllister told BCTV: “They are a mainstay in the Premier League these days and have had several top ten finishes.

“Ten years ago it could have been us. Instead it’s Stoke who have maintained their Premier League status over that time and they’re a strong side.

“For me (Stoke boss) Mark Hughes is one of the best managers in the top flight and I loved watching him play back in the day.”

When Sven-Goran Eriksson came to the Gate

Continuing his trip down memory lane, McAllister says City’s clash with Manchester City from the same season - in the same competition as tonight - always sticks in his mind.

He added: “Ashton Gate was packed that night as Manchester City came to us, managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson.

“The atmosphere was incredible and although they beat us 2-1, it’s a game I’ll always remember.

“If we can go one better tonight against Stoke then I’m sure it’s a game our players will remember. You want to get into the next round and see who you get in the draw, that’s the excitement of the cup.

“We’re in confident mood and, as we showed at Watford in round two, we’re certainly capable of causing the upset.”

Jonathan Leko and Cauley Woodrow are both cup-tied, while the game is likely to come too soon for Eros Pisano (knee injury). However, Jens Hegeler is available again after a recent neck injury.

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