RM's cup focus surprises Lescott
With a top-four place in the Premier League demanded of the Blues by their mega-wealthy owner Sheikh Mansour, Mancini could have been forgiven for shoving the famous old knockout competition way down his list of priorities. The Italian is not steeped in FA Cup folklore as most Englishmen are and he has no recollection of sitting in front of the television with his family as an annual occurrence on final day. This has not stopped the City boss from fielding strong sides all the way through though, even when the opposition, including League One strugglers Notts County, has not always seemed to merit it. "I was surprised by how much he has wanted to win the FA Cup," Lescott told the official programme for Saturday's semi-final against Manchester United. "Unlike other cup competitions, he hasn't made a lot of changes when he might have done. "As much as the fixtures have been coming thick and fast, he has set his stall out as to how important the games are going to be for us. "It's a chance to win something special, which means he has shown a lot of respect towards the FA Cup." Lescott has always respected the world's oldest domestic cup competition. As a child supporting Aston Villa he had a special interest in it, while as a player he always hoped to cause a shock. He eventually reached the final two years ago, completing the full 90 minutes as Everton snatched an early lead against Chelsea before succumbing to the favourites, who were then led by Guus Hiddink. "The FA Cup has proper tradition that is passed down through families," said Lescott. "Parents tell their kids about it and those stories get passed on. I remember it being the occasion where the whole family got round the television to watch football. There weren't that many other high-profile games we would watch together." There certainly were not the last time Manchester City played in one, back in 1981, when they were beaten in a replay by Tottenham in a game made famous by Ricky Villa's brilliant goal and when Lescott was still over a year away from being born. The Blues have not even featured in a semi-final since then, which makes tomorrow's clash with United even more significant. Lescott does not buy into the theory that City are desperate to end their 35-year wait for a trophy. However, the £22million defender cites the Blues' presence in the last four, along with their two-legged meeting with United at the same stage of the Carling Cup last season, as proof the club are starting to make the impact first envisaged when Sheikh Mansour completed his takeover two-and-a-half years ago. "Everyone is taking notice of us now," he said. "It's one thing to buy players and have the backing from the top, but it is no guarantee of success. "When we do have success then everyone will acknowledge we mean business. "It is a huge thing for Manchester City to win a trophy but I don't think there is a deadline or a need to do it by a certain date. "No one is saying 'we have to win the FA Cup this year and the Premier League next'. "When the time is right, we will win something."