Max Power guest column: We can start dreaming after fairytale success

Max Power congratualtes Will Grigg on his goal on Monday
Max Power congratualtes Will Grigg on his goal on Monday

Wow – what a week...what can you say?!

We’ve beaten the best team in Europe, one that’s lost only twice all season.

But Wigan in the FA Cup – the fairytale goes on!

The second half was tough, and then you look up and see (Kevin) de Bruyne coming on to the field...wow!

We had to dig in for long periods, but when you’ve got Will Grigg on the pitch, he just needs one chance.

I might be wrong, but I thought we created a few other opportunities that we might have taken advantage of.

Obviously they had a lot more of the ball, which was always going to be the case, but I can’t really remember many real clear-cut chances.

People talk about believing we could win...and whether we actually thought it was possible.

Realistically...me, Griggy and Perks went for some lunch earlier in the day, and we were chatting about the game.

You start talking about some of the players in the City side...about the players you’ll be sharing a field with...it’s scary.

I’m not going to lie and tell you we thought we’d turn up and win, because all the stats suggested otherwise.

I read in the programme before the game that Pep Guardiola had only lost 56 games in his entire managerial career – so that was a nice confidence booster!

But in the back of your mind you also know that anything can happen in the FA Cup, and we all saw Rochdale take Spurs all the way the previous day.

That gave us a bit of belief – and probably put a bit more pressure on us.

But and after the sending-off of Fabian Delph we were given another lift.

Without seeing it back, I thought it was a bad tackle – and I certainly didn’t make a meal of it.

I’ve certainly been left with a big gash on my leg anyway.

I spoke to Delph after the game, and he said he went for the ball.

Look, it’s a contact sport, I’m lucky I didn’t get injured, and you just get on with it.

We’ve given ourselves a real chance of advancing even further in the FA Cup.

And when you get to the quarter-finals, everybody starts to dream – especially at this club!

We’re 90 minutes away from Wembley, and we’re already far beyond the furthest I’ve ever been in the competition.

I said in an interview before the game that we could start to dream – well we certainly can now.

Without putting a dampener on things, we’re probably delighted this game is out of the way.

Sub-consciously it’s been on everyone’s minds as soon as the draw was made.

You’re playing the best team in Europe, in the FA Cup, the game’s being beamed around the world...it’s a huge occasion.

Now we’ve got through it, hopefully it can give us a boost to kick on.

And we all know what the main objective has always been the season.

We want promotion, and that’s been the aim since day one last summer. We’re 90 minutes from Wembley though...why not do the double?!

For five minutes after Griggy scored, I’ve never seen the stadium like that.

Again, we’ve put on a performance for them, we’ve delivered. It’s clear the support’s there. I’m not having a dig at the attendances, but we can’t do any more to get them here every week.

I know clubs try certain things, and at Tranmere we did deals all the time.

They make it a fiver a ticket, we get beat at home, and the fans don’t want to come back!

But that’s twice now we’ve almost filled the stadium for big games, and the team’s responded with a performance.

We’d love to see them here again on Saturday against Rochdale, and fingers crossed the result will be the same.

The downside of being involved in the FA Cup has meant Blackburn and Shrewsbury taking advantage and moving ahead of us in the table.

You’d obviously like the points on the board in this situation.

But having been top of the league for so long, we’re now having to chase others teams down.

The pressure now switches to Shrewsbury and Blackburn, and it’s whether they can maintain their form.

It is tough when you’re top – and obviously we’ve had the cup run to deal with as well.

We’re under no illusions, we believe we’re the best team in this division, and it’s up to us to get back to our top form.

Next up is Rochdale...and make no mistake, they’ll give us a really tough game.

Keith Hill’s got a really good side there, although they’ve had problems this season such as the pitch.

They’re obviously in a league position they wouldn’t want to be in, but they’re a good side as they showed in the FA Cup against Spurs.

It’ll be a different game for us than Man City, but it’s about trying to maintain our performance levels.

If we can do that, we’re confident we can beat anyone.

Max Power was speaking to Paul Kendrick