Vincent Kompany is looking forward to an emotional return to Manchester City after a late Connor Roberts goal put Championship leaders Burnley into the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time in 20 years.
A few minutes after snatching a 1-0 win over Fleetwood at Turf Moor, the quarter-final draw handed Burnley a match-up against Kompany’s old boss Pep Guardiola and a club he captained to four Premier League titles and two FA Cups.
“It’s a double feeling to be honest,” Kompany said. “My ties are extremely strong with the club and that remains. The kids will have a tough decision to make on the day but it’s one we are looking forward to.
“We’ve got a few games now which are more important, which is every Championship fixture between that game and now but it will be a special day. I think for the players, this is an experience and they’ve earned the right to look forward to such a game.”
When City fixtures do not clash with Burnley, Kompany regularly takes his kids to a stadium where his statue stands outside. A warm reception will surely await off the pitch but not on it.
“From my side, I’m really calm about it,” Kompany added. “I know that past the hugs and the high fives there is a machine there that wants to win everything. We’ll focus first on the Championship games and then give it the right place it deserves.”
It was no surprise that a Burnley side 12 points clear at the top of the Championship should dominate play against League One Fleetwood and even more so after Cian Hayes was sent off in first-half stoppage time for a high challenge on Josh Cullen, but they had to fight to the end to take the win.
Fleetwood goalkeeper Jay Lynch turned in a man of the match-worthy performance and had just made fine saves from Halil Dervisoglu and Charlie Taylor in quick succession when Roberts got a touch on Vitinho’s shot through a crowded area to get the goal.
“The way we scored is what they were better at doing than us for the entirety of the game,” Kompany added. “Landing on those loose balls, getting first to the ball, to have this very heroic performance, but in the end we find a way.
“I didn’t feel we had to lose our nerve or do anything different other than put the ball in the net.”
Fleetwood boss Scott Brown declared himself “very proud” of his players after they came within a few seconds of forcing extra time.
“Obviously it’s always going to be hard coming here with 11 men, so coming here with 10, the lads’ understanding of the game plan was brilliant,” he said. “We tried to frustrate them through the first half and we did that. We tried to catch them on the counter…
“In the second half it gets harder, you get the ball and there’s three or four players on you. You have to defend for your lives.
“Lynchy from start to finish was exceptional and he deserves man of the match with him behind our back five, the back five was solid. To take them all the way, the top Championship side with 10 men was exceptional and I couldn’t be any more proud.”