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During training sessions fans used to stop their cars run over and shout insults through the fence at me especially if we had lost! ' FA CUP FOURTH ROUND CARDIFF v MANCHESTER CITY; SAYS ANDY DIBBLE.

Byline: Steve Bates

ANDY DIBBLE comes face to face with his old club Manchester City today - but there's not much he will recognise from his days as a Citizen.

Welshman Dibble, now 52, is Cardiff's goalkeeping coach, working under Neil Warnock at the club where his career began as a teenager.

City were the poor relations in Manchester during his time between the sticks as Sir Alex Ferguson laid down a platform for success at rivals United.

But Dibble has nothing but fond memories of his nine years at Maine Road before he upped sticks and left in 1997.

Even when Blues fans used to turn up at the training ground to hurl abuse!

Dibble says: "I've been to City's new training ground at the Etihad complex and it's just incredible - a world apart from my days at the club when money was tight and we were in United's shadow.

"In those days, we had a training ground at Platt Lane which was on a main road at the corner of a busy junction.

"There was just an open-style fence between the road and the first-team pitch.

Roots

"During training sessions people would stop their cars, run over and shout insults through the fence at me and the rest of the lads - especially if we'd lost at the weekend.

"You can imagine a few stopped one Monday morning in 1990.

"I conceded a goal at Nottingham Forest when Gary Crosby headed the ball out of my hands."

These days the landscape is a lot different with stars such as Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero hero-worshipped as part of Pep Guardiola's revolution. But Dibble is still proud to be part of the 'real' City when the club had their roots in Moss Side.

In those days managers came in and left through a revolving door and triumphs were hard earned and cherished.

And he still plays for a City veterans team in Spain each summer with the likes of Uwe Rosler, Paul Dickov, Asa Hartford and former kitman Les Chapman.

"Mel Machin signed me but at City I had managers like Howard Kendall, Peter Reid, Alan Ball, Steve Coppell, Frank Clark, Asa Hartford as a caretaker and, for a short spell, Phil Neal," he recalled.

"The club lacked stability but there were some good times.

"In my first season we won promotion from the old Second Division to the First and there were some cup runs too.

"We had a young team with some great players such as Paul Lake, David White, Andy Hinchcliffe, Ian Brightwell and Paul Moulden.

"For away games, we all used to meet at the Amblehurst Hotel in Sale in the days when for some reason the travelling City fans had inflatable bananas - it was fantastic!" Guardiola's quadruple chasers are red-hot favourites to beat Championship side Cardiff and get through to the fifth round.

Upsets

But Dibble has been on the wrong end of a banana-skin cup tie himself and believes Neil Warnock's men have a chance.

He said: "Upsets can happen and I should know. I was in the Luton team who were favourites to win the FA Cup semi-final against Wimbledon at White Hart Lane in 1989.

"We lost 2-1 and Wimbledon's Crazy Gang went on to beat Liverpool in the final in another major shock so never say never.

"And knowing our gaffer he will treat this as a big opportunity to show what we can do against one of the best teams in Europe.

"We saw what Bristol City did over two legs against City, and I am sure he will make sure the Cardiff lads give it their all.

"But we also know City won't be complacent.

"We were all surprised when Guardiola turned up at Mansfield for the third round replay when he has so many scouts who could have done that job."

You can imagine a few stopped on the Monday morning after the goal I conceded against Nottingham Forest in 1990

CAPTION(S):

BIG KICK: Andy Dibble loved his time at Manchester City where his Maine Road bosses included (right, from top) Peter Reid, Howard Kendall and Alan Ball
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 28, 2018
Words:695
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