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JIMMY AGGREY GUNNING FOR KEEGAN
MANCHESTER City's return to the European stage on Thursday could be anything but a formality if one of Kevin Keegan's former players has his way.
Jimmy Aggrey will be one of the Saints' defenders charged with the task of stopping Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler, and is relishing the chance of shackling 20m worth of striking talent.
While acknowledging that TNS have a huge job on their hands to cause a UEFA Cup sensation, Aggrey is determined to prove to Blues boss Keegan that he made a mistake when he was in charge of Fulham five years ago.
When Keegan took charge at Craven Cottage, the then 19-year-old was desperate to try and catch the new manager's eye.
Not only was he thrilled that he had the opportunity to work with one of his boyhood heroes, he was also convinced that the former Newcastle chief would help him achieve his dream of playing in the Premiership.
However, that dream was shattered within six months when Keegan, who was keen to bring his own players into the squad, had to tell Aggrey he no longer required his services.
The former Chelsea apprentice has since plied his trade in the lower divisions, before joining Saints, but will get a shot at the big time later this week. And he is determined to show Keegan made a mistake in letting him go.
"I remember being very excited when it was announced that Kevin was taking over," recalled Aggrey. "But it soon became apparent he wanted to bring his own players in so I didn't really stand a chance.
"Our paths haven't crossed since but he would definitely recognise me if we bumped into each other before the game. Yes, I'd shake his hand because he's not a nasty man and he gets paid to make tough decisions.
"But it would be nice to think that the young kid Kevin let go at Fulham could play a major part in one of the worst nights of his managerial career and that's what I intend to do."
Ken McKenna has warned City they will under-estimate his side at their peril.
"The thought of Robbie Fowler and Nicolas Anelka bombarding our defence fills me with dread. But whatever happens, we will enjoy the two games. The main thing is we come out of this with our pride intact."
City tuned up for the first leg with a 2-1 home win over Barcelona yesterday, watched by the TNS squad who were visiting the stadium for the first time
Nicolas Anelka will go down in history as the scorer of City's first goal at Eastlands after 34 minutes.
Argentinian Saviola stunned the 36,518 crowd with an equaliser before Trevor Sinclair headed a brilliant winner from a Sun cross.
11 August 2021