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Newport County Boss Graham Coughlan Reveals Manchester United Tie Is Dreamland


By David Williams

Graham Coughlan admitted he can barely believe his Newport County side will host Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round.

County set up the spectacular tie by beating Eastleigh 3-1 at the Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Exiles will now host 12-time cup winners United at Rodney Parade on January 28.

Second half goals from James Clarke and Will Evans saw the League Two side bounce back after Paul McCallum’s leveller, much to the delight of their Manchester United-supporting manager.

“Personally, for me and my family, it is a hell of an honour (to face Manchester United),” Newport manager Coughlan beamed after the game.

“We’re a big Man United family, we’ve followed them through thick and thin.

“We’ve been to FA Cup finals with them, but that’s a story for another day.

“It means a lot to the football club but it means a lot to this group of players.

“This group of players have absolutely knocked their socks in.

“They’ve run through brick walls and they’ve put their bodies on the line since they’ve come in. I’m really proud of them.

“I’m going to have to ask them to put Man United on the back-burner (due to the game against Wrexham this weekend).”

He continued: “I can’t get my head around (playing Manchester United). They have unbelievable names.

“Just to have Manchester United Football Club coming to Rodney Parade is a hell of an achievement.

“I don’t know when it will sink in but I’m sure my dad and my brother are doing Irish jigs around the house at the moment. I can’t wait.”

Even when being met with a wave of questions about facing Manchester United, Coughlan took time to acknowledge Eastleigh’s FA Cup exploits.

“Let’s not take anything away from Eastleigh.

“Let’s congratulate them. They have taken the scalp of a League One team here already in Reading.

“I’m pretty sure they would have fancied doing a League Two side tonight so fair play to them.

“I hope to see them push on from tonight and I hope that they can get into the play-offs.

“This is a really good club with some great people at it.

“I don’t want to be unfair to Eastleigh but I think there were a few more moments of quality from ourselves.”

There was a shock at Ashton Gate where Championship club Bristol City overcame 10-man West Ham 1-0.

Tommy Conway, who earned the Robins a replay with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium on January 7, claimed the early winner after capitalising on a defensive mistake.

A disappointing evening for the Premier League Hammers was compounded by Said Benrahma’s 51st-minute red card, with City going on to host either Nottingham Forest or Blackpool.

Matheus Cunha struck an extra-time winner from the penalty spot as Wolves progressed to a Black Country derby at West Brom by twice coming from behind to beat Brentford 3-2.

Ex-Wanderers defender Nathan Collins gave the Bees a 13th-minute lead at Molineux before Nelson Semedo levelled.

Neal Maupay restored Brentford’s advantage only for Nathan Fraser to force an additional 30 minutes, which was decided by Cunha’s spot-kick following Shandon Baptiste’s foul on Pedro Neto.

Luton avoided an upset by hitting back to beat Bolton 2-1.

Dion Charles gave the League One Trotters an 11th-minute advantage but the top-flight visitors overturned the deficit thanks to Tahith Chong and Chiedozie Ogbene to earn a trip to either Crystal Palace or Everton.

In Tuesday evening’s other replay, Tony Mowbray registered his first win as Birmingham boss after a last-minute strike from substitute Koji Miyoshi secured a 2-1 success over Hull.

Jason Lokilo’s first Tigers goal edged his side ahead at St Andrew’s but Jay Stansfield levelled before Miyoshi’s dramatic finish earned Blues a trip to Championship rivals Leicester.


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