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Di Canio backing West Ham for Old Trafford surprise

Filed: Thursday, 10th January 2013
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer Paolo Di Canio hopes that West Ham can defy the odds and win their FA Cup replay against Manchester United - just as Harry Redknapp's underdogs did 12 years ago.

12 years ago this month, Di Canio struck in the 76th minute to score the only goal of a tightly-fought fourth round contest in front of 10,000 delirious Hammers fans.

And the Italian forward, now exceeding all expectations as manager of Swindon hopes that history can repeat itself when the current West Ham side attempt to emulate that famous victory.

"I would love to see West Ham get a result at Manchester United in their FA Cup replay on Wednesday because it would be great to see their fans celebrating at Old Trafford again," he told the BBC i nhis weekly column.

"The game will bring back very good memories for me because I scored the winning goal there when Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez stood with his hand in the air, claiming I was offside.

"He tried to stop me and confuse me by putting his hand up like directors do in theatre when actors are auditioning, but my view in life is always to act first, then discuss the consequences.

"I brought this into my football career, so my only thought at the time was to put the ball in the net and then check what the linesman was doing."

And key to West Ham's chances, says Di Canio, is former team mate Joe Cole who is the only player from Sam Allardyce's squad who was involved on that historic day.

"I am delighted to see he has gone back to West Ham," said Di Canio. "I played alongside Roberto Baggio and for me, Cole was as good as him at 16. He was an amazing talent and the fact he did very well at West Ham and moved to Chelsea proved that he was a very good player."

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