Ryan Lowe wants his Preston North End side to go and express themselves this weekend when they take on Tottenham Hotspur.
Antonio Conte will bring his Premier League outfit to Deepdale for fourth round action in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, with the game getting underway at 6pm.
North End go into the encounter as underdogs and looking to cause an upset, with Spurs currently sitting fifth in the top flight and readying themselves for Champions League action next month.
Ryan told iFollow PNE: “I’m really excited, and I think the lads are excited as well.
“There’s a buzz around the place with Tottenham Hotspur coming to town, a Premier League club who are doing fantastically well.
“It’s a real opportunity for our lads to test themselves against a fantastic team.
“The message [to the players] is to go out and show what you can do. We’re live on the BBC, which everyone knows, so go and show good players how good you can be as well.
“I think the respect will be there mutually. They’ll respect us, we’ll massively respect them for where they are and what they’ve done, but I think it’s a case of going out and expressing yourselves and showcasing what you can do.”
Spurs progressed to the fourth round of the competition with a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth, with Harry Kane scoring the only goal of the game.
They made seven changes for that tie from their previous Premier League game, but – such is the quality of their squad – it was still an XI packed with experience at the highest level.
Ryan added: “We expect them to come with a strong squad first and foremost, and whatever team they pick will be very strong. We know that.
“We know the type of formation they play; we know the type of football they play.
“They’re hard to beat, and they’re hard to break down. There’s this myth that they don’t start games well and that they finish games fantastically well, so we’re just ready for whatever comes our way.
“We know there’s going to be large spells where we’re going to need to defend well, but we’re hoping we can get some chances in there and create some opportunities of course.
“We’ll put a gameplan together that we feel suits and can work, and just go out and enjoy the occasion.
“We’re coming up against fantastic opposition, aren’t we? They’ve got some top, top players so what I want my lads to do is go out there and enjoy it and give a really good account of themselves.”
Two men who unfortunately can’t be involved are Liam Delap and Troy Parrott, with Delap unavailable due to his appearance for Stoke City in the previous round, while the latter isn’t eligible to face his parent club.
Both Ben Whiteman and Brad Potts are now back in training with the squad so, other than Emil Riis being sidelined, everyone is fit and ready.
Ryan said: “Ultimately, we’ve got a fully-fit squad to pick from and I want to give all the lads an opportunity.
“We’ll have to pick the team that we feel can do what we’re going to ask them to do, and there’s nine subs instead of seven so we’ll hopefully get five on the pitch.
“That’ll be the aim, but unfortunately I can’t pick everyone. I know they’re all hungry to impress in training this week and today and tomorrow, and whatever team we pick will go out and give a good account of themselves.”