Manchester United v Reading
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Fifth Round Proper
8pm, Monday 18 February 2013
Old Trafford, Manchester United FC
Live on ESPN
Winning clubs receive £180,000 from The FA's Prize Fund
Click here for fixtures
Chris Smalling says The FA Cup remains one of Manchester United’s main targets this season.
The England defender goes into tonight’s Fifth Round tie with Reading knowing that it’s nine years since the Reds last won The Cup.
And manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told his players that he expects United to go the distance in the competition this time around.
Smalling revealed: "The manager has stressed that he expects to go to the end in all three competitions.
"Before we played West Ham in the Third Round, the manager stressed how much we wanted to win this tournament.
"The FA Cup is notoriously unpredictable. Luton reached the Fifth Round this year, which shows that anything can happen so there is no point looking too far ahead.
"But our home form has been good and another victory can give us the impetus to kick on and get to another Final."
United’s last Cup Final success came in 2004 when they beat Millwall in the Millennium Stadium.
And there are only a handful of the current Old Trafford squad who were involved in that 3-0 victory in Cardiff.
The former Maidstone and Fulham man added: "I was quite shocked at how long it has been since United won The FA Cup.
"It is a massive competition and one we all look forward to.
"There are quite a lot of lads who haven't won it despite being here for quite a while.
“But there is a lot of confidence and the results are showing.
"We are going for three competitions, so there are plenty of matches for the whole squad to play in and we are peaking at the right time."
Reading make the trip north for the final tie of the Fifth Round weekend having found some improved form in the Premier League.
And despite their position in the lower reaches of the Premier League in comparison to United’s spot at the top, Smalling knows it won’t an easy match for United.
"No game is a foregone conclusion," said Smalling.
"Even in the league, a lot of teams down at the bottom have beaten teams at the top.
"I have seen quite a lot of Reading's games. They play good football and have recently picked up a few points."
Manchester United v Reading
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