Newport manager Michael Flynn is refusing to consider the prospect of a lucrative FA Cup tie against Manchester City ahead of a fourth-round replay with Middlesbrough.
A home tie with Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions on February 16 is the prize for the winner of Tuesday’s replay at Rodney Parade.
And Flynn had his own idiosyncratic way of describing why City are simply not on his agenda, referring to the popular Jim Bowen-hosted TV programme Bullseye of the 1980s and 1990s, where a speedboat was among the main prizes.
“I am not thinking about Man City one bit, not a chance,” Flynn said.
“This could end up like Bullseye – Bully’s special prize, look what you could have won!
“You start getting carried away and you see the boat floating off, and you end up with a rubber dinghy.”
Asked if he had thought about locking coaching horns with Guardiola, Flynn replied: “I will start imagining that about 10 o’clock on Tuesday night if we win.
“I have too much respect for Tony Pulis, too much respect for Middlesbrough Football Club and I am not an idiot. All I am thinking about is Middlesbrough.”
Flynn and City’s assistant coach Mikel Arteta are friends after being on the same Football Association of Wales coaching course a couple of years ago.
The pair have stayed in contact since and Flynn sent Arteta a text message when the fifth-round draw was made.
“I texted Mikel when the draw came out and I said ‘Thank God if we do get through it’s not at your place, because I would have been ill!” Flynn added.
“I bet he did not even watch the draw. He’s thinking about the Champions League and Premier League.
“But you can see he is an outstanding coach, he was a quality player, and he is a quality human being.
“He’s always respectful, always wanting to learn, and working with Pep is not a bad first job to go into as soon as you retire.”
Newport made around £700,000 from reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup last season, when the Sky Bet League Two side knocked out Leeds and took Tottenham to a Wembley replay.
County expect that figure to be comfortably surpassed if Championship side Middlesbrough, managed by Newport-born Pulis, become the latest victims of a Rodney Parade giant-killing act.
Newport beat Premier League Leicester 2-1 at home in the third round, and then drew 1-1 at Boro with Matty Dolan scoring a last-gasp equaliser against his former club.
“Getting a result against Boro would be absolutely huge for the football club,” Flynn said.
“This game could be worth up to seven figures what with the prize money, extra money for going further than any other League Two club, TV money and another sell-out.
“Tony looked after us really well up there as I knew he would.
“He is not only a professional, he is an outstanding person and treats people with respect.
“We will try to do the same to them. It won’t be as nice as we had up there, but we will do our best.”
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