Mark Robins insists his FA Cup reunion with Manchester United should not distract from his Coventry side’s own dreams of Wembley glory.

Robins was a predecessor to the fabled ‘Class of 92’ at Old Trafford, but the glory years of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville may have looked a lot different were it not for his efforts.

His match-winning goal in the third-round match against Nottingham Forest in 1990 is widely credited with keeping Sir Alex Ferguson in a job, and he was a late substitute as the Red Devils beat Crystal Palace in the final to kick off a trophy-laden golden era.

On Sunday he finds himself back at the national stadium in an FA Cup semi-final, with the fate of another United manager – the under-pressure Erik ten Hag – potentially in his hands.

Yet the 54-year-old has been happy to leave the past in the past and has not been bending his squad’s ears with tales of times gone by.

“Absolutely not. They were all born after 1990, so none of them (know about it),” he said on the eve of the game.

“I don’t speak about things like that. It doesn’t matter what I did, I just talk about them. This is totally different and management is totally different to playing.

“It’s not about me, it’s all about the players and the preparation and how they can execute against a top, top team.

“These players have got an aspiration to play in the Premier League so for me, for them, it’s a chance to see how they perform, regardless of anything else around the game.”

Robins lays no claim to the disputed version of events that paints him as the reason for sparing the most dominant manager of his generation the sack, but can still be tempted into some mild nostalgia.

“In fairness I was substitute in a cup final 34 years ago, a brilliant occasion for us as Manchester United. It was fantastic,” he said.

“There were only two substitutes in those days so to get on the bench in the first place, when there was a lot of talented individuals who didn’t make it, puts it into perspective. I’d just broken into the squad and played a part in the run up to the final.

“It’s part of my experience, it’s part of my footballing background, but it was a long, long time ago.”

One of the Sky Blues players players hoping to make some cup memories of their own is 18-goal striker Ellis Simms. A childhood Manchester City fan, Simms scored twice in the dramatic quarter-final victory over Wolves including the decisive strike in the 10th minute of added time.

He confirmed Robins has kept his own playing days firmly in the background in the build-up to a match that represents a career high for many in the Coventry squad, but believes his efforts in the dugout should be receiving greater attention.

“It was obviously a few years ago, probably before my time, but I’ve heard bits of it,” Simms said of Robins’ FA Cup success.

“He’s very humble, but we know he was a top player back in the day. Now it’s about us as players but he’s going to do everything he can to help us.

“He should get more praise than he does. Getting us this far in the competition, the majority of people didn’t think we would get this far so it’s massive credit to him.”

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United are "closing the gap slightly" on Manchester City following their dramatic derby win, but feels the gulf between the clubs is "still huge".

United came from behind to take the derby spoils after a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, where Jack Grealish's header was cancelled out by a quickfire double from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford.

Erik ten Hag's side closed the gap on their second-placed neighbours to a single point, where they are now just six behind leaders Arsenal.

Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles and the Champions League with United, believes his former club still have a long way to go before matching their rivals, however.

"They're closing the gap slightly, but there's still a major way to go," Ferdinand said in his role as a BT Sport pundit. "I think the gulf between the clubs is still huge.

"Don't let this result take that away or let things become unrealistic. Man United have still got a way to go, but they're on the right road now. I felt something in this ground today that I haven't felt for a very long time.

"There was a belief, there was a connection between the players on the pitch and the fans again, because there's a committed team out there who are willing to fight, who won't fold under pressure, who won't fold when there's a bad spell in the game.

"That can only be good for the future of this team. The manager has to have huge compliments right now because he's building a team that are up for the fight."

Meanwhile, Paul Scholes – an 11-time Premier League winner at Old Trafford – feels United demonstrated their title credentials, but he knows the most important stage of the season is still to come.

"We've learned that United can beat a big team when the pressure is on, when they needed to," he said. "You asked before if they're in the title race – I think you have to say they are.

"If they keep people fit, they're one point behind City now. City, to me, are still the favourites, they're still the best team in this league. It's okay winning games now, but it's March, April time when it's so hard to win those games.

"Arsenal are doing really well, they look a really good team. Injuries could affect them, and they're inexperienced. They've got a manager who hasn't won a league title, players who haven't won trophies really.

"There are 20, 21 games to go. There's so far to go – this could change by February."

Cristiano Ronaldo's refusal to come on as a substitute against Tottenham can be put down to him being the kind of player who "can't accept being left out", says former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes.

Ronaldo was temporarily exiled from first-team activities by Ten Hag after refusing to enter the fray in United's 2-0 win over Spurs, before making a goalscoring return in Thursday's 3-0 Europa League victory over Sheriff.

The 37-year-old top-scored for United with 24 goals in all competitions last season, but has only made two Premier League starts since Ten Hag took charge.

Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra have defended former team-mate Ronaldo since the incident, and Scholes has now joined them, saying he understands the striker's frustration with his new back-up role.

"The longer the game goes on, the more upset you get, the red mist comes over you," Scholes told BT Sport.

"You're not thinking properly. For him [Ten Hag] to ask him to come on with two minutes to go, he will think: 'Is he taking the mickey out of me?'

"He thinks he should be playing every single game, and some players just can't accept being left out. The longer that game went on, the more and more furious he got.

"I think the manager has to show a bit of common sense. You're looking back at an experienced player, and you're asking them to come on in a game that's won.

"I've heard a lot of people say Sir Alex would have gone crazy or mad, but I don't think he would have done that. With two minutes to go, you bring a young kid on or give someone his debut.

"I think it's disrespectful towards Cristiano, but it's difficult to say it's disrespectful because it's the manager's job, and he's got every right to ask him to come on.

"It's clear Cristiano isn't in his plans. He doesn't see him as part of his team in the big games in the league, the big European games later in the competition, he sees him more as a substitute."

Scholes was speaking from experience, having refused to play for United in an EFL Cup tie against Arsenal back in 2001, and he sympathises with Ronaldo despite his mistake.

"It's difficult to explain your emotions at the time," Scholes added. "It was a low point of my career, something I look back on and really regret – it was so wrong to do.

"I sympathise with Cristiano. He did the wrong thing but your head completely goes.

"That's what probably happened with Cristiano, he's had a similar way of thinking where he's been left out of a game, so he will be raging.

"He's still not come on and he will be thinking, 'I can come on, score three or four goals against this team, easily'."

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has hit out at the club's recruitment in recent transfer windows, describing it as a "complete mess".

United missed out on Champions League qualification last season despite spending big to attract the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford, and left it late to do their business this year.

Although Casemiro and Antony arrived shortly before the closure of the transfer window, United frustrated fans with a drawn-out, fruitless pursuit of Frenkie de Jong, while they failed to sign a striker amid uncertainty over Ronaldo's future.

While a run of four consecutive wins has got Erik ten Hag's men back on track after they lost their first two games of the Premier League campaign, Scholes believes something must change.

Recalling last year's transfer activity while speaking to Gary Neville for the Overlap, Scholes said: "[In Sancho] you've got a young player you spent a lot of money on who, don't get me wrong, did great in Germany but was unproven in the Premier League.

"Cristiano was proven, of course he was, but he was 36. Varane, I always think, 'why would a club like Real Madrid let Varane go?' 

"If you looked at him last season, he didn't look right. I didn't think it was a great transfer window. 

"It's been a complete mess. It looks like there's nobody in charge of it. Nobody at the club is taking responsibility for it.

"It is [director of football] John Murtough? Is it the manager? I think they need to put someone in charge of recruitment. What will happen eventually is the manager will get blamed for it."

United began the campaign with humiliating defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford before Ten Hag adopted a more pragmatic counter-attacking style, and Scholes believes that approach is necessary given the make-up of their squad.

"I think even with the new manager now, he's stumbled across it," Scholes said."I think the Old Trafford crowd get nervous when the goalkeeper is trying to play it 10 yards to the centre-back.

"When you talk about a club with a philosophy, that's not Manchester United, it's Barcelona, it's Manchester City now, it's Ajax. 

"I don't know if the manager's done it on purpose or just got lucky. After Brentford he realised, 'I don't really have the players to do that'. After the Brentford game, there was a change."

Christian Eriksen has had a transformative effect on Manchester United, so says club great Paul Scholes.

Eriksen arrived ahead of the new campaign on a free transfer, having restarted his career with Brentford last term following his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, and has started every game so far under Erik ten Hag.

The former Inter and Tottenham playmaker has emerged as the creative hub of Ten Hag's rejuvenated squad at Old Trafford and delivered a superb display to topple league leaders Arsenal on Sunday.

An assist, a team-leading three key passes and 33 successful passes (also a team high) helped United seal a 3-1 victory.

His tally of key passes was more than the per 90 average of any United midfielder last term (Bruno Fernandes – 2.6), and Scholes believes the Denmark international has been crucial to United's upturn in form.

"Forwards know when the ball's coming, they know they've got a midfield player who is thinking about them even before the ball comes," he said on how Eriksen lifts United's attack.

"They know he's watching, he's looking all the time. He's always scanning the pitch and he's only thinking about going forward. I can't tell you how important that is as a number 10 and as a wide player.

"If you don't have that and you have the players that we've had playing in there who are always facing backwards and going backwards, their movement's a waste of time, so whatever movement they do it doesn't matter.

"You see Bruno [Fernandes], who's so clever to get in those spaces behind the midfield and in front of the back four, but you need someone to find him.

"Christian Eriksen has certainly got that. For a number 10 to have any kind of influence on a football game then they need a midfield player of that kind of quality."

Per 90 minutes this season across his six Premier League appearances, Eriksen averages 65 touches, 1.3 chances created and 6.6 recoveries, signifying his importance to Ten Hag's midfield.

Paul Scholes regrets making a private conversation with Jesse Lingard public and says the midfielder has been "treated pretty poorly" by Manchester United.

Speaking on the back of United's 3-1 loss to Arsenal on Saturday, Scholes revealed Lingard had told him the Red Devils' dressing room "is a disaster" and an "absolute mess".

That was United's fourth successive away league defeat, making this their worst such run since losing six on the spin between December 1980 and 1981.

Reflecting on his comments in the heat of the moment, Scholes admits he should have disclosed what Lingard had told him.

"I've had a little bit of stick for that. I don't know why I did it. Honestly, sometimes words just come out your mouth," he told talkSPORT. "I have spoken to him since and probably best I don't tell you what he said."

Lingard played the final 13 minutes at Emirates Stadium in what was his 16th Premier League appearance of the season, although just two of those have been starts.

The 29-year-old has been used 22 times in all competitions, totalling 548 minutes on the pitch – with 19 players having featured more than him.

With two goals and an assist, Lingard's goal involvement average of 0.49 per 90 minutes is bettered only by Paul Pogba (0.5), Bruno Fernandes (0.56) and Cristiano Ronaldo (0.77).

United reportedly prevented Lingard from joining either Newcastle United or West Ham, where he thrived on loan last season, in January and Scholes has criticised his former club's treatment of the academy product.

"I think Jesse has been treated pretty poorly by the club, to be honest," Scholes said. "He was ready to sign for Newcastle at one point and West Ham, right at the end of deadline day and he was told he was going to get more minutes. 

"That clearly hasn't happened. He's deserved a chance. We all saw what he did at West Ham. He's a really good footballer and can bring goals to a team and with this team playing so poorly as well, for him not to get a chance… I think he's unfairly treated."

Lingard has regularly been overlooked by both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and successor Ralf Rangnick, but Scholes is hopeful that will change under incoming boss Erik ten Hag should the midfielder be persuaded to sign a new deal.

"I think he might suit [Ten Hag] and he might want to keep him," Scholes said. "We will see what happens. It's obvious he never wants to leave Manchester United, and if this manager wants him then why wouldn't he stay?"

Paul Scholes claimed Manchester United's dressing room is "an absolute mess" as the Red Devils' poor form continued with a 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Saturday.

United's hopes of finishing in the top four of the Premier League were all but ended at Emirates Stadium as they fell to a third defeat in four top-flight outings.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 100th goal in the competition was not enough as Nuno Tavares' opener, a Bukayo Saka penalty and Granit Xhaka's 25-yard drive earned victory for Arsenal.

The Red Devils, who saw Bruno Fernandes miss a penalty, have now lost four straight away league games for the first time since a run of six between December 1980 and 1981.

Reflecting on United's latest setback, club legend Scholes claimed his former side are in disarray behind the scenes as he opened up on a recent chat with Red Devils star Jesse Lingard.

"It is an absolute mess," Scholes told DAZN. "It is a disaster of a dressing room.

"I had a quick chat with Jesse the other day, and I'm sure he won't mind me saying that the dressing room is just a disaster."

United are six points adrift of the top four, having played one more game, and interim manager Ralf Rangnick has conceded that Champions League qualification hopes are over.

Asked about Scholes' comments, Rangnick – who will be replaced by Erik ten Hag at the end of the season – insisted there is no major issue with the dressing room.

"Obviously after games like today or the games at Liverpool or Everton, there is massive disappointment in the locker room for sure. This is normal," Rangnick said.

"But it would be rather a problem if that was different, so this is for me normal. I think the whole group, they get on reasonable with each other.

"I'm not daring to say they get on well with each other, but I don't see that there is an issue with regard to the atmosphere in the locker room."

United have conceded 51 league goals this season, making it only the second time they have shipped 50 or more in a single Premier League campaign (54 in 2018-19).

Next up for Rangnick's side is a home match against Chelsea on Thursday, followed by the visit of Brentford four days later.

Paul Scholes and Didier Drogba lead the latest slate of inductees to the Premier League Hall of Fame, it was announced on Thursday.

Former Manchester United midfielder Scholes and ex-Chelsea striker Drogba head the remaining six names of the Class of 2022.

Patrick Vieira and Wayne Rooney had already been announced as two of the eight players to be bestowed with the honour, following last year's inaugural group of players.

They are joined now by Scholes and Drogba, alongside Arsenal legend Ian Wright, ex-Red Devils goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany.

Widely acclaimed as the greatest midfielder of his generation, Scholes – a one-club man between 1993 and 2013 – won the Premier League 11 times during his playing days.

Drogba, who spent two different spells with the Blues, proved a cornerstone of Chelsea's elevation to regular contenders in the competition.

Wright helped Arsenal to the title in 1997-98 before a brief spell with West Ham and remains the Gunners' second-highest scorer ever, behind only previous inductee Thierry Henry.

Schmeichel, who remains the only goalkeeper to win the Premier League Player of the Year Award, in 1995-96, is the first shotstopper to be inducted.

Kompany, a four-time Premier League winner during an acclaimed spell at City, helped usher in the team's modern era of dominance.

Aguero, meanwhile, is the highest-scoring overseas player in Premier League history, having scored 184 goals in just 275 appearances.

The six players were inducted via a public ballot, after Vieira and Rooney had been selected as automatic picks.

Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes criticised a lack of leadership and planning at Manchester United following their Champions League exit at home to Atletico Madrid.

With Renan Lodi's first-half goal putting Atleti up 2-1 on aggregate, United eventually went out tamely as they struggled to create much of substance while chasing the result.

According to former United centre-back Ferdinand, the biggest difference between the two teams was not on the pitch but rather with Ralf Rangnick and Diego Simeone in the respective dugouts.

"The difference between the two teams, the Atletico team, they had a group of reliable men, reliable men who would go out there and do anything the manager asked of them," Ferdinand told BT Sport.

"They understand the job at hand and they work together as a team. Whereas the other team, Man Utd, they’re looking at each other like, 'Who's going to pull us out of this? Who's going to pull the magic trick out of the hat?'

"It's not about the team getting through this. It's a moment of brilliance from an individual and it's a very different way of working."

Ferdinand hedged his comments, though, saying the club needs to patiently progress when they bring in a manager, a process which has reportedly already begun behind the scenes.

"Once you get the manager, getting the right person, you're talking minimum of two, three years before you can think about challenging, and with Manchester City and Liverpool it's a high bar," Ferdinand continued.

Scholes delivered a particularly blunt assessment, asserting interim manager Rangnick is not meeting expectations with the squad he has at his disposal.

"The coach is a massive part of it, getting a proper coach. This isn't a terrible group of players, if you give them structure and a way of playing, there's some real talent in this squad. It's not as talented as the teams above them, we know that," he said.

"The very first thing this club needs to do, to get anywhere near winning anything, is get a proper coach. Get a coach that suits them and give them a couple of years to build a squad that will challenge.

"Atletico are not a better team than Man United, but they've got a better coach. If he [Simeone] was coaching Man United, they go through that game.

"What it comes from is leadership. It comes from a coach who demands that and will get that out of his players. I don't want to keep having a go at this manager. He seems real nice, I love his interviews, he's very honest, but how he was chosen to be manager of this club – whether it's for six months, six weeks, six games – I don't know."

Manchester United great Paul Scholes was once again left questioning the club's wisdom in hiring Ralf Rangnick as interim manager after Sunday's 4-1 derby humiliation by Manchester City.

Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez got two goals apiece at the Etihad Stadium, as City restored their lead at the Premier League summit to six points over Liverpool.

United – without Cristiano Ronaldo due to a hip injury – started the game well and were good value for their 22nd-minute equaliser by Jadon Sancho, but thereafter it was one-way traffic as Rangnick suffered only his second Premier League defeat in 14 matches.

Despite that record, Scholes cannot get past Rangnick's lack of recent experience in coaching, having only actually been in charge of a team for two of the previous 10 seasons, instead spending much of his time as a sporting director.

Rangnick was hired as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's replacement at the end of November until the end of the season, at which point he will move into a consultancy role.

The move was initially widely praised as it seemed to suggest United were looking to establish an on-field identity that Rangnick would subsequently be able to influence with big-picture decisions, but Scholes is struggling to see the reasoning behind hiring him as the interim manager.

"What do we expect? We've brought in an interim coach who hasn't coached at an elite team," he told Premier League Productions.

"He hasn't coached a big team, he hasn't coached at a big football club like United where there's so much expected of Manchester United, whoever you're playing against, it doesn't matter. He's never been at a top club. He's coached a club for two years out of the last 10 years.

"How have United behind the scenes come to the conclusion that this man is going to be the right man for six or seven months? It baffles me. The players are lost on the football pitch.

"The first 20 minutes I was surprised, they played really well, they were comfortable on the ball, [Paul] Pogba up front looked alright. His [Rangnick's] subs have worked the last few weeks don't get me wrong, but it was a deflated team.

"As much as you can have a go at United, they were playing against possibly one of the best teams we've seen. In the second half, the players looked lost. They looked like they didn't have a clue what they were doing."

Prior to the weekend, Rangnick had been praised for improving United defensively. Before Sunday's hammering, they had conceded 10 goals in 13 league games under the German, having let in 21 in 12 with Solskjaer at the helm – only Norwich City and Newcastle United (27 each) had worse records at the time of the Norwegian's sacking.

But Scholes believes their change in fortunes at the back is a red herring, and the data seems to back him up to a certain degree.

David de Gea's saves since Rangnick's arrival have accounted for the prevention of six goals the average goalkeeper would not be expected to prevent, second only to Jose Sa (6.1).

Sa (192) is also the only keeper to face more shots than De Gea (180) in that time as well, suggesting United are not much better defensively than before – they are just relying on their goalkeeper's improved form.

"They were lucky it's not five or six. Again the goalkeeper, five or six saves," Scholes continued.

"We spoke before the game saying defensively since Ole's gone [Rangnick]'s shored things up – he hadn't. Never in a million years.

"He's kidding himself if he thinks that. The keeper has stopped him from getting batterings for a long time. [Sunday] was exactly the same."

Paul Scholes believes Ralf Rangnick is not the right manager for Manchester United, whose poor form continued against Southampton on Saturday.

United drew a second successive Premier League game after Che Adams cancelled out Jadon Sancho's opener at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were held by Burnley in midweek, which came on the back of a penalty shoot-out defeat to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on February 4.

United have led at half-time in all three matches, with the two Premier League draws marking only the second time in the competition's history they have failed to win consecutive matches after being in front at the break in both.

United sit fifth and have given their rivals the chance to nose ahead in the race for Champions League qualification.

Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November on an interim basis until the end of the season, with the former RB Leipzig coach and director also set to take on a consultancy role until 2024.

However, United have averaged fewer goals per game under Rangnick than they have under any other manager in Premier League history (1.4 – 14 goals in 10 games), and their recent run has led to speculation the squad are not buying into the German's ideas.

Rangnick refuted these claims in his pre-match news conference, yet United great Scholes has not been impressed by what he has seen so far.

"That's the feeling around the place [quiet inside Old Trafford] there's a lack of interest now with how the season's been," Scholes said in his role as a pundit on BT Sport.

"It's been a bad seven days, it's really been a bad six or seven months.

"The sacking of Ole was coming, we all knew that, but where was the plan? There has to be a plan, there has to be an elite, top coach into the football club to revive the football club.

"It's Manchester United, they should have the best of everything, and to not have a plan and bring what is a sporting director... he's coached a team two years out of the last 10.

"Don't get me wrong, I like the man, he comes across well, but he's looked like he's lacked coaching in the last five or six years. They're a team of individuals, you look at the difference today in United to Southampton.

"Southampton were brilliant, the coaching, methods, passages of play, it was fantastic.

"One team have got a proper coach, the other team has a sporting director, which isn't right for Manchester United."

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