x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Brian Kidd sees shades of United in City

Brian Kidd believes it will not be long before Manchester is overtaking Milan as the football capital of Europe.

Roberto Mancini, left, the Manchester City manager, is congratulated by his assistant Brian Kidd after City's win on Saturday.
Roberto Mancini, left, the Manchester City manager, is congratulated by his assistant Brian Kidd after City's win on Saturday.

Brian Kidd believes it will not be long before Manchester is overtaking Milan as the football capital of Europe.

A proud Mancunian to his core, Kidd won the European Cup as a player with Manchester United before going on to become assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson during the early years of the Scot's 24-year reign.

Now he is providing the local knowledge to Roberto Mancini's coaching team at Manchester City.

Kidd was an integral part of City's preparations for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final triumph over United at Wembley Stadium, which put them into their first major final since 1981.

And Kidd, 61, feels it is just the start of a new phase in the rivalry between the red and blue halves of Manchester that will transcend that of Milan.

"It is great for Manchester football," Kidd said. "I was looking round just before kick off. I saw one half of the stadium red, the other blue. For me personally, it was a wonderful moment.

"You can have wonderful nights playing against the best teams in Europe. That is what we are striving for."

Kidd can certainly see comparisons between where City are at present and what United were when Ferguson started to turn them into the most efficient of trophy gatherers.

"Manchester United won the FA Cup in 1990, then the Cup Winners' Cup the following season," he said.

"They lost the league to Leeds the following year, which proved to be the prelude to what they are now.

"Recovering from that setback showed how much spirit there was at Old Trafford. I feel there is a lot of that with City."

It will be one of Kidd's tasks to ensure City's players do not allow themselves to get carried away with what, after all, was just one victory, albeit a hugely significant one.

He is acutely aware those twin pre-season aims of a place in next term's Champions League and the end of that 35-year trophy drought remain unfulfilled.

"It is all a learning process for our players but when you do win something, it is intoxicating. You should just become hungrier for even more," he said.

Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira, the former Arsenal midfielder, is allowing himself to contemplate the prospect of gaining a fifth FA Cup winners' medal.

Vieira, 34, won his previous four during his time with the Gunners in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2005.

Vieira enjoyed a cameo role at Wembley, replacing David Silva with four minutes to go.

And he revealed his teammates had been winding him up about winning another medal.

"The players were teasing me about it before the game and I was hoping it would happen. I am really happy, " he told City's website. "It is a fantastic achievement by the club as it is never easy to beat United.

"Our strength is the players fight for each other and the commitment everyone gave from beginning to end was fantastic."

Ashley Cole, the Chelsea left-back, holds the record for the most FA Cup winners' medals with six - three with Arsenal and three with Chelsea.