If Cambridge United are to cause a monumental FA Cup upset by downing Manchester United at the Abbey Stadium live on BBC One tonight (7.55pm), they must not concede early.
That is according to the man who captained the U’s the last time they faced United.
Richard Wilkins — who started out at Haverhill Rovers and had a professional career that also took in Colchester United and Hereford United — hopes Cambridge can surprise the nation and at least earn a replay back at Old Trafford.
“I’ll be watching on TV and hoping Cambridge can cause an upset or get them back to Old Trafford to put some money in their coffers,” said Wilkins, now manager of non-League side Leiston after a long and successful spell in charge of Bury Town. “Cambridge have eased themselves back out of a very difficult financial situation over the last four or five years, so a replay would be excellent for them. All they can do is keep it as tight as they can for the first 20 or 30 minutes — that gives you the chance to grow into the occasion as well as the game.”
Wilkins, who still has family living in Haverhill, captained Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium in the second leg of their League Cup defeat to Manchester United in 1991.
Although they lost the first leg 3-0 at Old Trafford, Cambridge secured a memorable draw at the Abbey against the likes of Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes and Ryan Giggs.