Fulham secured an FA Cup quarter-final tie with Manchester United with a hard-won 2-1 victory over Championship high-flyers Swansea City on Tuesday night, and manager Roy Hodgson is feeling confident ahead of the game on March 7 at Craven Cottage.
That confidence is tempered with a healthy measure of realism, however, as Hodgson acknowledges that for his men to win then the league leaders must experience something of an off day, not an unlikely prospect at the moment though, he feels.
"Manchester United, yes, that's a nice bonus, it will be nice to see Sir Alex again," Hodgson mused to The Daily Telegraph today.
"It's important for Fulham to be in the quarter-finals, it's been a long while since we've been there. OK, we've got United but we're not dead yet.
"Of course we can beat them. We can beat Real Madrid, Barcelona – we can beat any team. But if you're asking are the odds on us winning better than the odds on them winning, I think the answer is pretty obviously no.
"They've played a lot of games this season, they have a lot of things on their mind and maybe we won't be meeting the Manchester United we met the last time."
United clinically dispatched Hodgson's men 3-0 when the two sides met at Old Trafford earlier on this month, and that impressive performance was something he felt his own side had replicated against Swansea.
"How they played against us that night was how we played against Swansea," he asserted.
"Our aggression, our moving of the ball, our goal threat; that was as good as I have seen us."
The Fulham fans were also priased by the manager, not least for turning up in numbers again a mere three days after their heroes played beat West Bromwich Albion at home 2-0.
"What's most important is that it is a very nice tie for our fans," Hodgson added.
"I thought they were superb against Swansea and they really got caught up in the cup day atmosphere. It's nice that we've given them a little bit of a bonus with a top match against Manchester United as reward for their support."
Zack Wilson, Goal.com