Garry Monk crossed his fingers for a tie which would “set Elland Road alight” after a barnstorming win over Norwich City sent Leeds United into the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
A delighted Monk said his players had shown their “true colours” by surviving a dramatic period of extra-time and securing a place in the draw for the last eight.
United, who have reached this stage of the competition for the first time in four years, will learn their opponents when the draw is made after tonight’s remaining ties.
The club fought their way through an epic contest at Elland Road last night, overcoming an injury to Lewie Coyle which reduced them to 10 men to win 3-2 on penalties after the match finished level at 2-2 after 120 minutes.
Monk said: “I’m immensely proud. It was incredible - an incredible atmosphere and unbelievable character from a very young group. They really deserved that.
“It was a proper English cup tie and it had everything. We came through adversity with real determination and some really good football.
“You saw it all tonight. You saw their true colours. Everyone who watched that group should be very proud of them. People can go home dreaming of a big cup tie in the next round. Football’s about going home with memories.
“You always have to go toe-to-toe. Even with a man less, it doesn’t matter. This was a true test of character and they were all heroes in the context of the game. I’d love to get another game here, against a really good Premier League side. Imagine this being a full house with this type of occasion. It would really set things alight - and that what we should be aiming for.”
Monk confessed he did not watch the shoot-out after Leeds had twice hit back from behind as goals from Marcus Antonsson and substitute Chris Wood cancelled out efforts from Alex Pritchard and Nelson Oliveira in a 2-2 draw after extra time.
“I would love to get a Premier League side here,” said Monk, who won the Capital One Cup as a player with Swansea in 2013.
“Can you imagine a full-house here and that type of game? We’ll see what the draw brings.”
Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, one of eight changes in Monk’s starting line-up, was the hero as he saved spot-kicks from Pritchard, Steven Naismith and Robbie Brady before Ronaldo Vieira scored the winning penalty.
“Marco is one of the best shot-stoppers I have seen - but I didn’t see them because I don’t watch penalties,” Monk said.
“So I turned away and didn’t see them. I watched the crowd for the reaction.
“What this can do for the club who knows, but we are a young group and you can see what progress we are making.”