Platt stays calm ahead of final
Although their progression in qualifying for the Champions League is of more significance, Platt feels beating Stoke on Saturday could have a greater impact within the dressing room. Manchester City are favourites and they also have a dressing room packed full of experience at the highest level. However, as an FA Cup winner himself from his Arsenal days, Platt knows how draining the occasion with which Manchester City will be faced at Wembley can be. "An FA Cup final grasps you," said Platt. "It is a tick-off. It becomes an achievement. It is a worldwide event that people look at and no matter how much you intend to put it to the back of your mind and control it, if you are not careful, it can get hold of you. "It is a tense occasion. There is not another bite of the cherry. "You try to keep things on an even keel but players are aware of the extra media attention. They will see the fans on the drive to the final. "They will hear the noise. But to give of your best, you have to control the occasion. You cannot allow it to get hold of you." Platt feels that is unlikely in Roberto Mancini's case. The Italian may have his critics, but he has successfully guided Manchester City through some choppy waters this season. And Platt is sure his old friend's unflappable demeanour will stand him in good stead. "There has never been any doubt in his mind about where we were going," said Platt. "I have known him for 20 years now. He doesn't doubt things. "Every single thing he does every day is to improve. He has always been very calm during the week but when matchday comes, there is a passion. "And, whatever happens at Wembley, his thoughts will immediately turn to Tuesday night, whilst there is a mathematical chance of catching Arsenal in third, that is what he will be trying to do." Mancini has previously indicated a desire to drag down the 35-year banner that still hangs from the Stretford End at Old Trafford, home of rivals Manchester United, rubbing in that lengthy wait for silverware. As a former United trainee, Platt is acutely aware of the rivalry between the two sides of a divided city. More importantly, he feels winning the cup this weekend would represent a U-turn in the culture of a club for whom failure has often been revelled in. "The banner is just one thing really," said Platt. "It is just a by-product. After 35 years without a trophy, it, quite rightly, becomes a major issue for the supporters. "But, looking at where we are, if we were to win, I hope it wouldn't be another 35 years before we won another. That would be the progress."