Oxford United welcome Tranmere Rovers to the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday night with a place at Wembley awaiting the winners.
The U’s welcome Rovers in the semi-final of the Papa John’s Trophy and for boss Karl Robinson it is a chance to test himself against a club he knows very well indeed:
“As a kid they were always the team over the water. My wife is from Birkenhead and her dad was a fanatical Tranmere fan so this has always been one of the teams that I’ve always had a strong connection to because of that.
"I remember having a game there and seeing him in his seat moaning at me! Sadly he’s no longer around to see tomorrow’s game but I’ll be thinking of him and the game has always had that bit of sentiment for me.
“Growing up John Aldridge was the Manager and he is obviously a legend at both clubs. In his era in charge at Tranmere I was only eight or nine but I think Tranmere are close to most Liverpool fans’ hearts because of him.
“It’s a wonderful club with a lot of tradition and I was looking forward to playing there last season but we never got to do it because of covid. In many ways they are the club who were most affected by that. It’s wrong that they ended up in League 2; they were the club most hit when the season ended but they certainly have players who belong in a higher division.
“So we are under no illusions about this game. They are a good side and we will have to be at our best but that’s been true of every game we have played this season. Forest Green we won on penalties, Cambridge we scored late through a free kick from Hally, Walsall it was a late goal from Derick so we have not been great against League 2 sides this season or as exciting as I would have liked us to have been.
“But it’s a cup tie, a big game for both clubs and I cant wait to be involved.”
See the full interview in iFollow right now.