I don't think I'd ever won there before and I don't think I've ever won there since. We were obviously making history that day. It was the heaviest defeat they had suffered at Old Trafford for years and it was QPR's first ever victory at Man United.

The game was on New Year's Day and funnily enough, I remember beating United by the same score on January 1 a few years later when I was at Tottenham.

It was not only winning there that made it so special but the fact no luck was involved. We actually played Man United off the park that day - we could even have won by more.

I had Dennis Bailey with me at Bristol Rovers and I wouldn't have brought him to the club for 100-odd thousand from Birmingham unless I thought he was a good player.

He had a day he will never forget for the rest of his life.

He had pace and I think that was what caused the problems for Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce at centreback.

Dennis was not as consistent as he could have been, which perhaps stopped him from becoming an even better player. He'd have games like that where he was really on his game and others where he didn't produce so much and that's probably what separates the top, top players from the others.

But on that day and over those 90 minutes, Dennis destroyed Manchester United and we thoroughly deserved our victory.

We'd been playing really well without getting results up to that period and I warned that we'd give somebody a hiding - we were creating chances and playing well - but I'm not sure I expected it to be at Man United.

It was a great win and when you've been in the game as many years as I have, you appreciate special days like that even more. But as a manager, at the time, it was still only three points at the end of the day.

Alex felt that defeat cost them the title. They hadn't won it under him at that stage and Leeds went on to win it.

But a few weeks after that win at Old Trafford, we beat Leeds by the same score and those two games showed to everybody that we were a good side. The year after that, we had a fantastic year in what was the first year of the Premiership and finished as the top London club in fifth - which for QPR takes some doing.

Basically the Old Trafford win showed that we were here and were going to cause one or two teams some problems.

As I'm working at Stoke, I don't get to see Rangers much these days although my two sons, Adam and Jake are at QPR. The last time was for the West Brom game at the end of last season.

I haven't really seen them but in a two-horse race, there's always a chance of an upset and they can do it again next week.

The biggest issue will be how serious United take it and what team they put out.

In recent seasons, we've seen the likes of Coventry go there and win in cup competitions when Alex hasn't played his full side.

They don't do it to lose the game, but I think sometimes they take the opposition lightly and if you do that, you can come unstuck, even if you are Man United.

On paper, most teams haven't got much chance but in reality, anybody can win.

That said, Rangers will have to play at their peak and beyond and Manchester United are going to have to be a little bit short of theirs.

* Gerry Francis was talking to Gazette sports editor Yann Tear

Next Up

CARDIFF C

Loftus Road Saturday 3pm Championship

Manager: David Jones Position last season: 12th Form Guide: Last season's FA Cup finalists remain in the top six in spite of last weekend's 2-1 home defeat by Wolves. That loss is one of only two so far this season in the league and the Bluebirds remain unbeaten on their travels, with wins at Barnsley and Nottingham Forest (both 1-0) and draws at Doncaster Rovers, Sheffield United,Derby,Blackpool and Watford. They are three points and one place better off than the Rs. Players to look out for: Scottish international Ross McCormack - who has struck 12 goals this season - is injured as is Jay Bothroyd. City were this week trying to recruit Sunderland's Michael Chopra - a QPR target - in time for the game. [25a0] Most recent meetings: Cardiff C 3-1 QPR (29 Jan 2008); QPR 0-2 Cardiff C (18 Aug 2007) - Champ. Head-to-head record: QPR Wins: 29 CC Wins: 24 Draws: 10 [25a0] Match Facts: Cardiff's double last season avenged a double for Rangers the year before. Games between the two sides were tight before last season, with only six goals in seven clashes.

Forecast: Having won five out of seven at home in the Championship, Rangers can end Cardiff's unbeaten away record.

Gazette forecast success rate: 9 correct out of 18 (50%)

In Midweek

MAN UNITED

Old Trafford Tuesday 8pm Carling Cup 4th round

Manager: Alex Ferguson Position last season: Prem Champs Form Guide: Starting to hit top form now that Berbatov has settled in. Their only defeat so far came at Liverpool (1-2). They will be defending an unbeaten run of 12 games at Arsenal this weekend and have won five and drawn two at home in all competitions.

Players to look out for: We may be admiring Nani or Anderson if Rooney,Berbatov and Ronaldo are given the night off,as expected.

Most recent meetings: QPR 1-1 Man United (16 Mar 1996); Man United 2-1 QPR (30 Dec 1995) - Prem. Head-to-head record: MU Wins: 27 QPR Wins: 6 Draws: 13

Match Facts: The teams have never met in the League Cup before but have been paired in the FA Cup on four occasions - United winning the lot although they were taken to a second replay in 1989. Man United won 2-0 at Old Trafford when the teams last met in an FA Cup tie in 1995. Rangers have not met the Reds since being relegated from the top-flight the following year and they have not beaten United in 10 attempts since their famous 4-1 win in Manchester on New Year's Day 1992.

Forecast: United will rest players, so the Rs should have a chance. But a home win still seems most likely.