Phillip Cocu says everyone in the Derby County is looking forward to this week’s eagerly anticipated Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Manchester United.
Derby will welcome the Premier League giants to Pride Park Stadium on Thursday evening to battle it out for a place in the Quarter Finals of the competition (7:45pm kick-off).
Tickets for the game completely sold out last week as Derby look to reach the last eight of the FA Cup since the 1998/99 campaign under the late Jim Smith.
Cocu is well aware of the qualities in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s star-studded squad, but he says his side are going to give everything they’ve got to defeat top-flight opposition in the competition for second time this season.
Derby defeated Premier League Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park back in January, before overcoming Sky Bet League 2 side Northampton Town 4-2 in a Fourth Round replay last month following a 0-0 draw away from in the original tie.
“Now we can talk about it,” Cocu told RamsTV after Saturday’s 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.
“It is a great game and I am looking forward to it, as we all are.
“It is sold out and the motivation is sky high in the team. We are going to try to make it a great game and we want to play good football and entertain the fans.”
He added: “We will try everything to go on playing in the FA Cup, but I think more importantly we want to continue to have the bravery to play against a big team.
“We know they have a lot of quality in their team, but I think we are going to give it a go.”
An exciting sub-plot will see Derby captain Wayne Rooney come up against his former club.
The 34-year-old played 559 times for the Premier League giants between 2004-2017 and is their all-time leading goal scorer with 253 goals in all competitions.
Cocu says while the match will be special for Rooney, it is an occasion where every player in the squad will have to be on top of their game.
He said: “For Wayne it is a very special game and it is a big game for the team as well.
“We showed on Saturday that we need everybody.
“We talk about being a team, not just those that start but everybody in the squad.”