Steve King is relishing this Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Swindon Town – and he wants his heavily unfavoured players to do the same.
A collective groan may have welcomed Macclesfield being drawn to travel to the League Two title holders, but King is hoping his men put on a good display at the County Ground.
"All I’m asking of the players is that they go and give a good account of themselves," he said before his scouting trip to watch the Robins take on Premier League side Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
"I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait, I saw them at Crewe last week and they looked good.
"They also beat Stevenage 4-0 on Saturday – and that was with them missing a penalty as well – so with a bit of luck they’ll take us lightly."
As well as a talented squad awaiting them in Wiltshire, King is relishing the chance to lock horns with their inimitable manager, the ever-entertaining Paolo Di Canio.
When Macc went to Swindon last season, the Italian was sent to the stands for his touchline histrionics. And in the previous fixture at the Moss Rose, Di Canio – incensed at the refusal of a penalty claim – insisted he would encourage his players to dive under the slightest challenge.
And King can’t wait to pit his wits against the former Milan, Juventus and Celtic star.
"He’s a very good manager, he’s got a real aura around him," added King. "He was a fantastic player and he’s doing well as a manager.
"He’s turned that club around and they’re looking to get into the Championship now. You don’t do that without having some managerial talent.
"He kicks every ball of every game, just as I do, so I’m looking forward to it.
"We won’t go there to make up the numbers, I want my players to put on a good show, play to the best of their ability and see where that takes us."
King is hopeful that full-backs Ryan Jackson and Craig Braham-Barratt will be available on Saturday. The latter missed out after suffering a groin problem in training and the former went off in the second half at Grimsby with a similar ailment.
"Kieran Charnock will play about an hour against Stockport on Wednesday night," he added. "Carl Martin has been good since he came in but it’s definitely a bonus to have Kieran back. It would be like a new signing, though Saturday might come too soon."