Tranmere striker can’t wait to sink Man Utd – after missing out on Liverpool win
Paul Mullin watched his beloved Liverpool beat bitter rivals Manchester United in the Crocodile pub last Sunday.
Tomorrow the Tranmere striker will be looking to heap more misery on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side by dumping them out of the FA Cup.
Mullin, 25, came off the bench to score the extra-time winner to put the League One side into the fourth round after a dramatic third-round replay against Premier League outfit Watford on Thursday.
He couldn’t get a ticket to see Jurgen Klopp’s men beat United last weekend at Anfield.
But now he will go toe-to-toe with the under-performing giants when they arrive at Prenton Park tomorrow.
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“That game and Barcelona last season are the only games I couldn’t get tickets for,” said the striker.
“I can score the winner on Sunday now, they’ll all be giving me tickets then.
“I went to the pub with my girlfriend, my mum and my dad.
“We went into town, my brother in law has the Croc in town and we went there to watch the game and had a few hours in Liverpool.”
Mullin dreamed he would be wearing the red of Liverpool against United as a kid as he came through the Merseysiders’ youth ranks.
But the Scouser was let go at 16 by the Reds and went to Huddersfield, Morecambe and Swindon before arriving back close to home in Birkenhead.
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“I was at Liverpool till I was 16, if you can’t make it there you still want to be a footballer,” he said.
“It’s every boy’s dream and to be playing here 20 minutes from home is a fantastic feeling, with your family there to support you every week.
“When you’re a kid that’s your dream and you think your whole world has fallen apart when you get let go.
“But now I’ve been given a career as a footballer and to get the chance to go play against Manchester United, one of the biggest teams in the world, is a great feeling.”
Mullin is deadpan when asked who also came through in his year at Liverpool.
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“There’s three of us playing in the Football League now – Raheem Sterling in the Premier League, Jak McCourt at Macclesfield and myself.”
For a Liverpool fan to get the chance to pile more pressure on an under-fire United boss must excite him too and take his mind off their relegation battle in League One?
“It’s good motivation but to be fair I want to do it for the fans that are here,” said Mullin.
“They’re the ones who come to support us every week here at Tranmere.
“They come no matter how we are doing. Last year it was great, the year before was great but this year we haven’t been doing so well.
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“The FA Cup has given them something to cheer about.”
With the fixtures piling up for the Premier League big boys the talk now is about ridding replays from all rounds of the FA Cup.
But it would mean special nights for Tranmere fans like Thursday’s replay win over Nigel Pearson’s side would be gone forever.
They may have lost the first game at Vicarage Road in extra-time and they wouldn’t be welcoming one of the world’s biggest sides to play on their boggy, sand-patched pitch at Prenton Park tomorrow.
“For the club it means a lot and for us to go and get a replay at Old Trafford if we get a draw on Sunday, that’s a dream for the lads,” added Mullin.
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“There are Manchester United fans in our changing room, why wouldn’t they want to go play there? It’s a dream for them.”
Tranmere boss Micky Mellon said he might bring his players for a walk on the nearby New Brighton beach ahead of the game and doesn’t want excuses from United about their pitch.
While Mullin insists the quick turnaround won’t hinder them and he is hoping his recovery is helped by his son Albi waking him up early Saturday to ensure he gets off to sleep early tonight.
“I think my little lad getting up on Saturday morning will make me tired but I’ll try my best,” he added.
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