Gary Johnson has urged his players to ‘grasp the opportunity’ to impress when they face Premier League giants West Ham United at the LCI Rail Stadium on Wednesday night (7.45pm kick-off).
Cheltenham set up the big televised clash after a superb comeback saw them knock out League One's Oxford United - after extra time – in the First Round of the Carabao Cup.
And the gaffer is now eager for his team to build on that cup victory and shine in front of a big home crowd and the watching footballing world.
“I hope the supporters are excited and the players should be because they can show what they can do against Premier League opposition,” he said.
“The players earned the West Ham game by putting in such a good performance against Oxford. Over 120 minutes we came through so the players deserve this chance and have to grasp the opportunity.
“We are up against Premier League opposition so there has got to be a real work rate. If you let teams like West Ham run all over you and around you then you are in for a long night. We need some real team energy.”
West Ham have suffered a disappointing start to the season with back to back defeats in the Premier League, losing 3-2 to a late winner against Southampton on Saturday.
“I’m sure they (West Ham) will want a result too so it will be a cracking game,” said Johnson.
“We don’t know the team they are picking, but they are all good players and I suspect they will be strong.
“Our players can prove to themselves that they can compete at that level, which will give them confidence going back into the league,” he added.
“This is a real chance to enhance their reputation, and they understand that, on a live TV (Sky Sports) game.”
Tickets for the big cup clash are still available on general sale from the ticket office, with opening hours extended to 7pm tonight (Tuesday 22 August).
Supporters can also purchase tickets over the phone by calling the club at 01242 573558 (option 1).