Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips says he felt it was "inevitable" that Roberto Mancini's side drew Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals, but remains hopeful that he and his team-mates can win the trophy and help City's fans "realise their dreams".
Wright-Phillips was heavily linked with a move away from the club during the January transfer window, but a serious injury to Adam Johnson meant Mancini felt letting the former Chelsea midfielder leave was not an option.
He has still found first-team opportunities difficult to come by, but Wright-Phillips played 90 minutes in Sunday's quarter-final victory over Reading.
And having first arrived at at City when they were in the Second Division, the England international feels he can understand better than most the fans' delight at reaching a first FA Cup semi appearance in 30 years.
"It may mean a little bit more to me because I know what our fans have been through," Wright-Phillips said. "I have been through a hell of a lot with them and hopefully as a team, we can realise their dreams as well as achieving one of our own.''
"I have been down this road so many times and we always get United, so to me it was inevitable,'' he said. "We found out in the warm-up and it gave us all a laugh because we had all guessed it would happen.
"A few of the lads felt it would have been nice to get them in the final, but we have them in the semi so now we have to cross that bridge when we come to it.
"I wouldn't say the last couple of years has been a learning process for us against United, but our concentration has let us down slightly in the last five minutes against them.
"They always score late winner against us, so we need to keep our focus right to the end. Then I think we will be fine.''
But Wright-Phillips believes it is important that City don't focus all their attention on the clash with United in April, as their immediate priortiy is to overturn a 2-0 Europa League deficit against Dynamo Kiev.
"When the time comes to play United, we will talk about it then,'' Wright-Phillips said. "The players we have are experienced to concentrate on the job in hand and not to look too far forward.''