Potter relishes "fantastic" City tie

19th February
First team

Graham Potter feels Swansea City should relish the “fantastic challenge” of facing Premier League champions Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup.

Swansea’s reward for reaching the last eight for just the fifth time in 107 years is a home assignment against Pep Guardiola’s Citizens.

The clubs met in the top-flight last term, but this will be the first FA Cup meeting between them.

The winner of the tie – which will take place over the weekend of March 15-17 - will advance to a semi-final at Wembley.

And, while Potter acknowledges his side have arguably been handed the toughest possible draw, it is a challenge he feels everyone at the club should be galvanised by.

“Your initial thought when the draw is made is that it is as tough as you can get in terms of progressing,” said the Swans boss.

“But, at the same time, it is a fantastic challenge.

“We are facing the best game you can get when we speak about the players testing themselves and dreaming about what they can possibly achieve.

“We are really excited, we are playing against as good a team as there is in world football.

“It will be a completely different environment from the Brentford match - hopefully we will have more of a crowd - and we will be the team that has nothing to lose, which is a different challenge.”

Few will give Potter’s young side much chance of advancing given they face a City side who were runaway champions last season, racking up 100 points and over 100 goals in the process.

But they exited the FA Cup against lower-league opposition in the form of Wigan last term, and Potter expects his players to approach the tie with the right mentality and respect, but not fear, for their opponents.

“Of course we will do our very best to win, but you have to respect the opposition and understand they are so, so good and – in the Premier League and Champions League – they are operating a level above where we are,” said the 43-year-old.

“But it’s a test for us to be ourselves against an opposition of that calibre, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn.

“That’s the draw, you cannot complain about it. We asked for a home draw and we got it, and we need to have the mentality that we are going to enjoy it.”

Match and ticket details for the quarter-final will be announced in due course.