Burton v Man City: The fans ready to enjoy their night despite being 9-0 down

scoreboard
The scoreboard at Etihad Stadium shows the score during the Carabao Cup first leg

Your team is 9-0 down from the first leg, you didn't see the game because you were stuck on the motorway, and sub-zero temperatures are forecast for the return fixture.

For Burton Albion fans who will see their team host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday, there is an obvious question: Why are you still going?

"Because we always have," says Albion fan Anton Williams, who reckons he has missed 20 games in 15 years.

Dave Child has been going to watch the League One side for 50 years and tells BBC Sport: "This is the biggest game in our history, our cup final, and it's only half over. There is no chance I am going to miss this."

For those giving up on the game already there is a precedent: City's joint heaviest defeat was an 8-0 loss on Boxing Day in 1894.

The team? Burton Wanderers (they no longer exist).

"The pressure is off like never before," says Liz Kinsella, who was stuck on the M6 and never got to the first leg at Etihad Stadium. "We have absolutely nothing to lose."

Liz Kinsella
Liz Kinsella did not see the first leg after getting stuck in traffic en route to Manchester

'I've said a prayer to St Jude'

After witnessing the first-leg hammering, some might say it was better to be stuck in the tailback.

But Kinsella, who didn't make it past Stoke-on-Trent, says she is taking extra precautions this time. "I might set off in the morning even though I live three miles away," the engineer jokes.

"We know the tie is gone, but given we didn't make it last time, just being there will be a blessing. I've already said a prayer to St Jude, which is the patron saint of lost causes. How many they score this time is kind of irrelevant.

"I've never seen a game where we lost 9-0 but it was a mark of respect that Pep Guardiola put out a full team against us and they didn't take their foot off the gas.

"I'm glad they approached it like that because we have played the real Manchester City even if they are worth hundreds of millions.

"My husband works with the father of Burton midfielder Ben Fox and apparently he returned home after the game at 1.30am and just said: 'Wow.'

"Fans pay a lot of money to watch football, and it's a shame when you turn up to a big cup tie and you see a weakened team and don't get to see the players.

"I hope he does the same again, but maybe it would be nice if they didn't score quite as many goals."

Dave Child and wife Pam
Dave Child and wife Pam were among the lucky ones to make it to Etihad Stadium for the first leg at Man City

'Bovril and a sausage roll helped at Etihad'

Dave Child, who is in his 50th year of supporting Burton, was one of the lucky ones to make it to Etihad Stadium.

The 60-year-old didn't get too downbeat during the game after finding his seat just as Kevin de Bruyne scored the first of nine goals.

"They have a nice menu at City, so I spent some of the time trying to decide whether to have a Bovril or a sausage roll," the sales manager says.

"When you're getting thrashed, you may as well be well fed and comfortable!

"We were there for the occasion. We are always happy to sing, revel in the day out, and we've been used to doing that in recent years.

"The inevitable question will be about the score on Wednesday. We drew 2-2 with Doncaster on Saturday and Brewers academy graduate John Brayford scored twice, his first goals in nearly three years, which is a minor miracle in itself.

"So my prediction is Brayford to score and Burton Albion to win 1-0!

"I'm slightly worried we might get a battering, but I can't miss it. How many times are we going to play a world-class team like Manchester City or see Pep Guardiola and Kevin de Bruyne at the Pirelli?

"I've been going since dad took me down as a boy, and funnily enough I was interested in soup and sausage rolls even then!"

Anton Williams
Anton Williams has seen all Burton's big games and says it's a club full of fairytales

'We are a club of fairytales'

Anton Williams is within walking distance of Burton's ground so there is no chance of him getting stuck in traffic en route to the game.

He has been watching Brewers games "home and away, every year, for 25 years" and says City might come unstuck at the tightly-packed Pirelli Stadium, which holds 6,900 fans, a capacity lower than that of City's academy stadium.

"Players don't like playing with the crowd on top of them," he says. "There is no real distance between us and them, they will find it very difficult to play the football they like.

"Just getting this far is the biggest achievement in the club's history, so every fan there on Wednesday will be proud and willing to do their bit.

"We are family-orientated club and the club has never changed its ethos since we were in non-league, which was only 10 seasons ago.

"For example, we've stuck with same kit supplier, a local firm, for over 20 years.

"We've been to the dizzy heights of Championship, and our position in League One is a massive achievement based on our budget and how long we've been going for.

"We are a club of fairytales and we've done it without spending millions. Our ground is paid for and we don't owe anybody anything.

"The club is run on trust, camaraderie and being in touch with the local community, and a lot of fans like that. It's nice to to go to a place where you make friends.

"We don't expect to win on Wednesday, but if we can get a goal that would be great for everybody.

"By competing against a team like Manchester City in a major semi-final, the dream has already come true."

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