Doncaster Rovers defender Rob Jones expects Capital One Cup opponents York City to be buzzing when they reacquaint themselves with the competition for the first time in nine seasons this afternoon.
The Minstermen are set to be roared on by a raucous travelling support as they mark their return from Conference football, but Rovers are keen to spoil their party.
Jones, who should be fit for the encounter despite limping off in last Saturday’s friendly with Barnsley, is hoping home advantage proves the decisive factor as Rovers seek their first win in the League Cup against York, who have triumphed in all three previous ties between the rivals in the two-legged format of the competition.
Jones said: “It’s strange playing a cup game before the season starts. But you’ve got to deal with it and we’ll be up for it.
“It’s a really good test for us and, obviously, York will be on a high and after getting back into League Two after eight years away, it will be exciting for them.
“But they are coming to us at our own ground and we want to start the season well, just as everybody else does.
“It bodes for a difficult game, but it’s one we have to be ready for and we will be.”
The former Sheffield Wednesday centre-half insists he is ready for a scrap in 2011-12 with Rovers supporters hoping he can become the defensive enforcer which they lacked last season.
But while he is relishing combat in League One football, his first aim is to establish himself in the Rovers line-up, just a few weeks after joining from the Owls.
He added: “Throughout my career, I’ve headed it, kicked it and fought people. That’s what I bring really.
“Yes, I like to get the ball down and play. But first and foremost, I like to organise.
“It’s not been an ideal summer for me. But I’ve been getting to know my team-mates as quickly as possible and it’s been good to get straight into the pre-season games as you learn far more in them than in training.
“It’s about getting accomplished with the players around me and forcing my way into the team.
“Just because I’ve arrived, it doesn’t mean I’m guaranteed to play.”
Right-sided utility player Paul Quinn, released by Cardiff City this summer, could make his debut after signing a one-year deal.
Rovers manager Dean Saunders said: “He played 20 games in the Championship last season and he’s an experienced player who knows his position.”