Mark Yates admitted Cheltenham Town could not have asked for a more difficult task in the opening round of the FA Cup, but he said his side will be fired up to knock out League One Swindon Town at Whaddon Road.
Mark Cooper’s side will visit Whaddon Road a week on Saturday with a place in the second round and £18,000 in prize money up for grabs.
“The draw could have been kinder, but we deal in reality and you get what you get,” Yates said.
“We are at home, which is decent and I’ve already spoken on the phone to Mark about something else.
“It’s a tough draw because they are a really good footballing side with some top quality players.
“Results haven’t happened for them in the last couple of games, but it wasn't long ago they were right up there with Bristol City at the top of the table.”
After memorable runs to the third round in 2011/12 and 2012/13 when the Robins faced Tottenham and Everton, they were ousted by non-league Tamworth at the first hurdle last season.
Yates is looking forward to being the underdog against Swindon, who have been knocked out by Conference side Macclesfield Town in each of the past two seasons.
“We’ll go in as underdogs and they’ll bring a good support, so it’s what we all wanted in that respect, but ideally we’d have been at home against lesser opposition,” Yates said.
“Everyone wants the underdogs to do well in the FA Cup and we’ll benefit from that.
“Once we get York out of the way on Saturday, it’s a tie we’ll look forward to and hopefully we can put in a decent performance.”
Cooper and Yates just missed out on playing alongside each other at Birmingham City, but their paths have crossed many times on and off the pitch since then.
“I think the day after I left Birmingham, Mark signed for them so I didn’t actually play with him there,” Yates said.
“I see him out at games a lot and I am glad he is doing well at Swindon. When it comes round to it, we’ll be going all out to win the game and the division difference won’t matter one jot.
“It is going to be tough, but nothing we can’t conquer.”