Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sports - EX­CLU­SIVE BY SI­MON MULLOCK

WOLVES leg­end Gary Pierce thinks cur­rent Mo­lineux keeper Rui Pa­tri­cio will have it eas­ier against Manch­ester City than he once did.

It’s al­most 45 years since Pierce spent his 23rd birth­day keep­ing an­other ram­pant City team at bay to help Wolves lift the League Cup.

And, as he looked back on his man-of-the-match per­for­mance in a 2-1 vic­tory, he tipped the club’s Class of 2019 to bring back the glory days.

“City have a great team at the mo­ment, but I’d rather face Ser­gio Aguero and Ra­heem Ster­ling than the for­ward line they had at Wem­b­ley back in 1974,” said Pierce.

“They had Colin Bell, Fran­cis Lee and Mike Sum­mer­bee, three play­ers who helped them win the league, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Euro­pean Cup Win­ners’ Cup.

“They had Rod­ney Marsh, a bril­liant player. And they also had the in­com­pa­ra­ble De­nis Law.

“But, at Wolves, we had a team spirit that was un­break­able – and we also had un­be­liev­able luck.”

Any­one at Wem­b­ley that day will know Pierce is un­der­selling him­self.

Called into the team by Wolves boss Bill McGarry when No.1 keeper Phil Parkes was in­jured, he was only told 48 hours be­fore the fi­nal that he was play­ing.

When Kenny Hib­bitt gave Wolves the lead just be­fore half-time, it didn’t truly re­flect their dom­i­nance.

One Pierce save from a Marsh free-kick had brought the mer­cu­rial Eng­land for­ward to his knees.

But it was his hero­ics in the sec­ond half that won the cup.

Bell equalised – only for John Richards to bag a Wolves win­ner.

Pierce said: “It was the save I made from Rod­ney that re­ally set­tled me down. It was one of those days when you feel like you’re not go­ing to be beaten,”

Of the cur­rent Premier League teams, Pierce added: “It’s a great time to be a City fan – but there are also ex­cit­ing times ahead for my old club as well.

“I went to Mo­lineux when they drew with City ear­lier in the sea­son and they were very im­pres­sive.

“Beat­ing Liver­pool in the FA Cup was a huge re­sult for them and it would be great to see them back at Wem­b­ley. It’s been too long.”

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