Manchester City’s preparation the difference as Newport County’s FA Cup ride comes to an end

Manchester City's preparation the difference as Newport County's FA Cup ride comes to an end

For Foden and the rest of the City squad, attention now turns to more sizeable tasks: the Champions League tie with Schalke on Wednesday. For Flynn, forthcoming challenges are somewhat different. Now, after a week in which he was at the very epicentre of national sporting attention, after a week which ended with Amond swapping shirts with David Silva (“he’ll probably use mine to wash his car”) Flynn is required to lift his side for a League Two encounter with Notts County. 

“It is back down to earth,” admitted the coach of Tuesday’s fixture. “But what a journey. It’s nice that we’ve gone on the ride, a lot better than not going on one and struggling year after year. It’s the second year we’ve had great FA Cup experience, something you want to be involved in more. Me as a manager I want more times like that against the Guardiolas, the Pochettinos, the Claude Puels. And Tony Pulis. I want more of it.”  It adds up, he said, to unbuyable experience.

“I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gone through the academy, done that, I’ve had relegation battles, flirting with play-offs, Cup runs: it’s only a promotion I need now for the whole lot.” 

But, despite the fact his players had expended so much physical and emotional energy in their Cup run and despite having none of Guardiola’s depth of playing resources, Flynn – still registered as a player – said he is not tempted to pick himself for the Notts County game. 

“No, no,” he said. “I get knackered enough just watching these days.” 

Wonderkid Matondo could face former club

Manchester City could face their former academy star Rabbi Matondo when they travel to Germany for Wednesday’s Champions League round of 16 clash  with Schalke.  Matondo, 18, left City without playing in the first team to join the Bundesliga giants in an £9.6 million deal last month.

He had his first  league start for Schalke in Saturday’s goalless draw with fellow strugglers Freiburg.  The Wales winger has also been named in Schalke’s Champions League squad  but is thought more likely to start on the substitutes’ bench against Pep  Guardiola’s men. 

Sam Wallace

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