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UEFA CUP - SAINTS LAND DREAM MAN CITY TIE
"Fantastic - the best draw we could possibly have had" - Mike Harris

THE SAINTS have landed by far the biggest tie in their history - and a bumper payday - in the draw for the first preliminary round of the Uefa Cup.
Kevin Keegan's Manchester City will provide the toughest possible opposition, but TNS owner Mike Harris and general manager Ian Williams were still on a high when they phoned this website from the draw venue in Nyon, Switzerland.
"I am absolutely made up - this is fantastic, the best draw we could possibly have had," said Mike Harris.
Saints originally planned to play the home leg at Latham Park, but Uefa regulations mean the Newtown venue will not be suitable and they will have to move the tie to a larger stadium, possibly Wrexham's Racecourse Ground.
However, Mike Harris says he will explore the possibility of staging the home leg at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
While the tie is unlikely to fill the 72,500 capacity, City could quite easily bring 30,000 supporters to the match - an attendance figure often reached when they were down in Division Two.
"I have no plans to try and rearrange the tie so that we play them at home first," said Harris.
"I am confident we can go up to Manchester and get a good result and then really put the pressure on them in the second leg.

"If we get the right result I will be looking to relocate the game to the Millennium Stadium - why not?"
The first leg in Manchester on 14 August could be the first competitive match played in City's new City of Manchester Stadium ground. The return is a fortnight later.
Manchester City enjoyed a creditable return to the Premiership in their final season at Maine Road.
But they only qualified for this season's Uefa Cup by topping the Fair Play rankings for 2002/3. Kevin Keegan's team finished fifth in the FA's rankings behind Manchester United, Newcastle, Chelsea and Liverpool, but all four had already qualified for either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Cup.
Saints' other possible opponents were Molde FK (Norway), NK Kamen Ingrad (Croatia) and the third placed Danish team, but none was anywhere near as attractive as Man City.
Cwmbran Town will face Israeli side Maccabi Haifa, who beat Manchester United in last year's Champions League, 3-0.

20 June 2021
 
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