Mickey Demetriou insists Newport County can topple Premier League champions Manchester City in the FA Cup.
The 28-year-old defender, from Durrington, is set to take on Pep Guardiola’s men at Rodney Parade in an FA Cup fifth-round clash on Saturday.
It’s a daunting task for former Worthing, Bognor and Eastbourne Borough man Demetriou and his team-mates but one they are relishing.
The Durrington-born defender says Newport will not be content with just rubbing shoulders with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and co.
County have beaten higher-league opposition in Walsall, Leeds United and Leicester City at home in the competition over the past two seasons.
Now Demetriou wants Newport to complete the biggest shock of all.
He said: “We’ve got nothing to fear. We’re not expected to win so we can just go out, enjoy ourselves and see what happens. If we go out and give an account of ourselves and lose the game then everyone is going to be expecting that.
“As long as put a good performance in, who knows.
“They’re used to pristine pitches but they’ll come down to Rodney Parade and it’s like a rugby team has played on it.
“It could suit us as they may try to do things they’re not used to and we could adapt to that better than they can.
“We’ve got to go out and enjoy ourselves. We’ve done the club proud, everyone keeps telling us that, and it’s s free shot at trying to get through to the quarter-finals. You never know what can happen, strange things happen in football.
“As long as we do ourselves proud, that is the most important thing.
“We’re playing against one of the best teams in the world.”
Demetriou believes Newport getting a home draw is another advantage.
The Exiles have lost only three of 16 League Two home matches this season and their last FA Cup defeat at Rodney Parade came in 2016. Tickets sold out quickly and Demetriou hopes the atmosphere can prove a telling factor.
He said: “The last couple of years we’ve beaten teams from leagues above us at home. There will be another sell-out for the game against Manchester City which is an extra help. The support is like having an extra player out there.”
The tie will be shown live on BT Sport on Saturday (5.30pm).
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