'It's a brilliant draw for the club' - McGreal on U's trip to Manchester United
PUBLISHED: 12:46 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:46 31 October 2019
© Stephen Waller
Colchester United boss, John McGreal, has described a Carabao (EFL) Cup quarter-final tie at Manchester United as "a brilliant draw for the club," and "an unbelievable chance" for the supporters.
The League Two U's were drawn away at Old Trafford, when the EFL Cup draw for the last eight was made this morning.
It's the perfect outcome for the Essex minnows, who have already booted two Premier League clubs out of the competition this season - Crystal Palace and Tottenham.
Naturally, the odds will be stacked against McGreal's men making it a hat-trick of Premier League scalps, but whatever happens, it will be a great night for the U's to pit themselves against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's big guns, inside the largest club football stadium in the country.
Ironically, though, McGreal actually wanted a home tie, rather than an away game at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
"The roof came off, when we heard the news, and I think the chairman (Robbie Cowling) was on the top of that roof," enthused McGreal.
"It's a brilliant draw for the club. We have worked ever so hard to get to where we are.
"As a manager I was hoping for a home draw as such, but for the chairman and the boys, it's terrific. It's going to be a great experience, especially as some of the boys have not been to Manchester United before.
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"It's going to be a total different prep. It will be another different learning curve for the boys as well, but it's an unbelievable chance for our supporters as well, to go to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
"That just shows what rewards you can get, in the Carabao Cup, for all the hard work.
"Yet for me I've been prepping Mansfield (away league match this weekend) - that's the most important game for me at the moment, because that is going to be a tough nut to crack.
"But whilst we are in the midst of it all - it's Man United!
"Just saying the words 'Manchester United' - for Colchester United to go up there is terrific. I'm sure our fans will be queueing already to try and get the tickets.
"We know it's going to be a brilliant tie, and I am very pleased for the chairman and the whole club," added McGreal.
Following a first round win over Swindon Town, the U's saw off the Premier League duo of Crystal Palace and Tottenham, both via penalty shoot-outs, before winning 3-1 at Crawley Town on Tuesday night.
The U's have not played Manchester United since losing 2-0 at home in the same League Cup competition during the 1984-85 campaign.
The other quarter-final ties see League One Oxford United entertain Manchester City, while Aston Villa will host Liverpool, and Everton will entertain Leicester City.
The ties will be played during the week commencing December 16.