FA Cup: Coventry City boss Mark Robins says Manchester United criticism 'derisory' before semi-final

Coventry City boss Mark Robins says he will not be fooled by reports of FA Cup opponents Manchester United's demise heading into their semi-final meeting.

The competition is the Red Devils' last chance of salvaging some silverware from an underwhelming campaign.

They face Championship side Coventry at Wembley on Sunday (15:30 BST).

"I hear people talking about Manchester United, they are this, they are that - the truth of it is they've got top, top players," Robins told BBC Radio CWR.

"People in football, pundits, talk in a derisory way about Manchester United - realistically, they can hurt anybody on their day.

"The 2-2 draw against Liverpool the other week, the goals were outstanding, the counter-attack is scintillating at times.

"You've got a lot of things to consider, especially as a Championship club, coming up against the biggest club in the world."

Robins began his career at Old Trafford and in football folklore, his FA Cup third-round winner at Nottingham Forest in 1990 is believed to have saved Sir Alex Ferguson's job, while he also scored the extra-time winner in United's semi-final replay win over Oldham on route to their final victory over Crystal Palace.

The former striker also won the European Cup Winners' Cup with United the following year.

"To play them at Wembley is going to be special, it is going to be an experience of a lifetime for the players," the 54-year-old told Football Focus.

He added: "Playing in the national stadium against Manchester United, it doesn't get much bigger than that really. It's not a normal occasion for us - for Manchester United, it's a normal occasion.

"They play at Wembley a lot, they have England international players - and it's an expectation for them and their supporters. For us, it's slightly different although we've been four times in seven years."

'Embrace the challenge - don't be fearful'

While Manchester United's travails have been well-documented, six points from the last 21 available in the Premier League all but ending any top-four hopes, Robins is more concerned about his own side's blip.

The Sky Blues reached the Championship play-off final last season, losing to Luton on penalties, but sit eight points off sixth place with four games left, their cause hindered by recent back-to-back defeats.

"First and foremost, we've got to be right - we've lost three of our last four, it's not brilliant form, that's for sure, at this stage of the season," Robins said.

"After this weekend, we might be 11 points behind [sixth-placed Norwich] - it's very unlikely we're getting in the play-offs so this is a game we can fully focus on."

Coventry scored two stoppage-time goals to stun Premier League side Wolves in their quarter-final to leave supporters dreaming of a repeat of 1987, the only time the Sky Blues have lifted the cup.

"It's only the second time in the club's history we've been in the semi-final of an FA Cup," added Robins.

"It's a big occasion, one of the biggest games that most of our players will have played in.

"We know it's a significant challenge - but that's not the same as being fearful of it. You've got to embrace this challenge.

"Once that whistle goes, it's down to the players to execute the game-plan - and if they can do that properly they stand a chance."