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Supermac still has nightmares of City thrashing

MEMORY LANE: Malcolm Macdonald takes on City's Mike Doyle in 1976

MEMORY LANE: Malcolm Macdonald takes on City's Mike Doyle in 1976

Former Newcastle United and Arsenal legend Malcolm Macdonald admits he still has shudders when he recalls the day his Huddersfield Town side were ruthlessly put to the sword by City.

Macdonald, who was one of the most prolific strikers of the 1970s and once scored five goals in one game for England, took the helm at Leeds Road a month or so before the Blues hosted his side in a game that would be written into Club folklore.

Even today, City fans still talk of the day Mel Machin’s side scored ten goals on an unforgettable November afternoon.

“We went to Maine Road about a month into my time with Huddersfield and I remember how well we started the game,” said Macdonald.

“We could have been a couple of goals and were playing well early on until it all started to fall apart on 15 minutes and we went into the break 4-0 down.

“I just said to the lads to go out in the second -half and try and claw back a bit of pride – when you’re that many goals behind the game is pretty much gone so the intention was to play as well as we could and see where it took us.

“Our main problem was dealing with the speed of City’s forward line – they were very quick – Paul Simpson and David White would set off and I noticed the linesman was sprinting to keep up with them!

“The sad thing is that I felt we played better after the break and I maintain three or four of City’s goals looked offside, but they kept going in and I felt utterly powerless to stop it.

“That season, everything that could possibly go wrong for us, did.”

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Macdonald, who was forced to retire with a knee injury aged 29, never returned to management after Huddersfield, who were relegated at the end of the 1987/88.

After football, apart from punditry work, he concentrated on his business interests and today lives in Newcastle once again.

He is expecting his old club to push City all the way on their first visit to the Etihad Stadium.

“If I was to say one thing, it would be that this Huddersfield Town team are very different from the side inherited,” smiled Macdonald.

“They’ve really got their act together and I’ve been really impressed with David Wagner and the way he’s gone about his business. 

“Last season, they looked a shambles at the start of the season but now, they look a really good side.

“I think it will be another close battle. There are amazing things happening at City and the team is made up of some fabulous players.

“But Huddersfield are no pushovers and are playing the best stuff in the Championship this season and this will be close again, I think.

“They play Newcastle at home on Saturday so maybe they’ll have an eye on that game which is so important and if you had to prioritise winning the FA Cup and getting promotion to the Premier League, it’s going to be the Premier League that wins every time – but nonetheless, they are playing with such confidence that they will cause City problems and I think it will be a terrific game between two excellent footballing sides.”

Read the full interview in Wednesday's matchday programme

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