RORY McArdle will draw on the experience of City’s 2013 Capital One Cup heroics to help them avoid a banana skin at Morecambe tonight.
City face their League Two hosts as the seeded side but the Northern Ireland international scoffs at any favourites tag.
McArdle, one of the history makers, knows full well what underdogs can achieve – and how much their unlikely success two seasons ago could inspire Morecambe.
He said: “It’s strange because not so long ago we were playing Morecambe in the league.
“They might just look at what we did in the cup two seasons ago and think ‘why can’t we do that?’ “We are the seeded team and ranked higher. But two years ago we were them going into the cup; we were the ones looking at teams above us and thinking we could turn them over.
“You can almost put yourself in their shoes because you know what they feel.
“So it’s important we go there with the right mindset because we know it will be tough.
“I don’t think we are massively favourites and certainly if we don’t start like we did on Saturday and press the ball as hard as we did, then we’ll soon find ourselves in for a shock.”
McArdle’s celebration after heading the second of City’s three goals against Aston Villa at Valley Parade remains one of the endearing images of that cup run.
But since winning that first semi-final, the club have lost their last six knock-out games.
The defender added: “We always talk about what happened and it was brilliant but since then we’ve struggled in the cups for whatever reason. We’ve got to put that right.
“I was speaking to my mate on Sunday night and joking that it might be our turn to win it this year. He obviously laughed but we’ve shown that a little run can get the momentum going.
“As that first season I was here proved, you never know what can happen on a cold night at Valley Parade. When you see the pictures and videos of our Capital One Cup run now, you still think ‘did that really happen?’ “But it’s got to start tonight. We had a good win on Saturday against Coventry and played well and it’s important we go to Morecambe and build on that.”
McArdle, one of only four survivors from City’s last Shrimps visit on New Year’s Day 2013, is geared up for the physical threat of striker Kevin Ellison.
He said: “Ellison scored again on the weekend and keeps going.
“Whenever I’ve played against him, he’s always had that threat and he certainly knows where the back of the net is.”