James Milner is wary of a Manchester United backlash on Sunday and knows the Reds will be desperate to progress in the FA Cup and progress at City’s expense.
With a 6-1 home defeat still fresh in the memory for the United players and supporters, the in-form England midfielder believes the Blues need to factor in wounded pride from the first derby of the season as well as recent Premier League setbacks against Blackburn and Newcastle.
“Beating them at Old Trafford in the manner we did will have hurt them badly,” said Milner. “Everyone, from their players to the management and fans, will be more than up for it on Sunday.
“You’d imagine that as much enjoyment as we got from that win, they probably felt three times as much pain and we have got to be aware of that.
“It is down to us to put on another good performance and build on the win over Liverpool. It was important to get that result after a couple of disappointing ones.
“United have won so many titles over the last 20 years and you don’t do that by being weak mentally and letting a defeat put you off the rest of the season.
“We have got to be single-minded, that’s what we have done all year.
The Premier League will be nip and tuck all season. There are a lot of top teams up there with us, not just Manchester United
“Spurs are very strong, then there’s Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. There are a lot of good teams pushing to finish at the top of the league. We will just do what we have done all year and concentrate on our own football.
“If we can win our games, nothing anyone else matters, but we know this game will be anything but easy, especially with United coming into it on the back of defeats against Blackburn and Newcastle.
“We are the FA Cup holders and we want more of the same. This is a huge game and we want to progress in this competition and, if we can, retain the trophy.”