Padraig Amond on post-match chat with Guardiola and City's lovely gesture
"For years, people grew up probably wanting to play for Cardiff, Swansea or in Bristol, but now they can be proud to want to play for this club."
Class words, well spoken from Newport County striker Padraig Amond.
The Carlow native, and former Shamrock Rovers player, scored in the fifth consecutive round as his club exited the FA Cup with their heads held high. A scoring streak that began with a goal against Met Police in the first round, and included strikes against Leicester and Middlesbrough, made Premier League Manchester City sweat for a short while.
The 30-year-old's nicely taken strike - getting to a ball over the top ahead of Nicolas Otamendi - made it 2-1 before City pulled further away with goals from Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez.
Following the game, in which Amond kept the City defence (and midfield) honest throughout, Pep Guardiola made a beeline for a chat.
Later that evening, as the FA Cup roadshow prepared to roll out of town, Amond spoke with the South Wales Argus about that chat with Guardiola and City's lovely post-match gesture.
“They were very respectful of us which was brilliant, they even invited us into the dressing room after the game.
“There were some lovely words from their players and manager. Just after the game, Pep came over and congratulated me. He said we could be very proud of ourselves and proud that I scored, and we were a really good bunch of lads.
“If someone like that says you can be proud of yourself it means a lot more.”
Amond's five goals in the League Two side's FA Cup run has taken his tally for the season to 19 but he is far from done yet. The priority now is to win the league games Newport have in hand and push for a promotion playoff spot.
“I’m disappointed we lost the game and we’re out of the cup," Amond admitted, "but in years to come that’s something I’m going to be very proud of, the fact that I’ve scored against probably the best team in Europe.
“It’s a great feeling. I wanted to go and slide on my knees in the corner, but we needed to get going again quickly and get back in the game.”