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Adam Baker

Adam Baker writes

Posted Tuesday, January 9th 2018

No pressure on us - Smith

Korey Smith could be forgiven for feeling like he's walking on air around Bristol since scoring a goal that will live long in the memories of people in the red half of the city.

The midfielder was the man in the right place at the right time to fire a 93rd minute winner under the onrushing body of Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero to set up City’s first appearance in a major cup semi-final since 1989.

He’s enjoyed the pats on the back, the messages of goodwill and positive spotlight that has surrounded the football club since.

But the story’s not over. Standing between Smith’s club and a maiden appearance in the Carabao Cup final is Manchester City – currently the greatest team in the country.

The runaway leaders of the English Premier League have played 22 top-flight matches so far this season; they’ve not been beaten yet.

But Smith insists it can be done.

Speaking on BCTV, he said: “Manchester City are one of the best clubs in the world right now.

“However, so are Manchester United. We’ll take a great deal of confidence from that result against United as we face City.

“We’ve actually beaten four Premier League teams en route to the semi-finals and we shouldn’t forget that.

“I appreciate all the messages I received from the fans after the Manchester United goal and now hopefully someone can be a hero against Manchester City to take us to the final.”

Midfielder Korey Smith

“This is the semi-final of a major cup competition. The other teams at this stage are Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal – three of the biggest clubs in the country.

“It’s huge but I don’t think there’s any pressure on us particularly. We’ve come so far and it’s one we need to work hard and enjoy.

“To reach the final would be an unbelievable achievement and something we would never, ever forget. But Manchester City stand in our way and that’s our focus tonight.”

Korey Smith was the hero in the Carabao Cup quarter-final

TITANIC GOALS

With the odds stacked against City heading to the Etihad, Smith insists it might just be somebody else’s time to be a hero.

Recalling his United heroics, the 26-year-old said: “I think the goal was a great moment for the city as a whole.

“It really brought everyone together; families, people at the club and we’ll always remember that moment.

“I’ve watched the goal back quite a few times. Actually, I was sent quite a few different versions; the best was a slow motion version with the theme from Titanic in the background – that was very funny.

“I appreciate all the messages I received from the fans and now hopefully someone can be a hero against Manchester City to take us to the final.”

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