Grant McCann has urged his Doncaster Rovers side to shake off the shackles when they visit Notts County in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight.
Rovers head to Meadow Lane knowing a win will almost certainly see them through to the knockout stages of the competition while their hosts are already out.
McCann believes that will make Notts County’s approach difficult to predict – particularly after they dismissed manager Harry Kewell on Tuesday.
So the Rovers boss is encouraging his side to play with freedom to get the win they require to advance but also to pick up a much-needed victory for the club as a whole.
“They've lost their first two games in the tournament so I'm not too sure how serious they are going to take it,” McCann said. “We'll see with their selection.
“We've just got to treat it as another game really, take the shackles of, get the smiles on the faces, enjoy their football and go and create chances.
“The boys have been good in training so I'm confident they can go and get a result and performance.”
Changes will be made to the Rovers side with full back Danny Amos one player set to be selected as McCann looks to hand game time to those who have little so far this season.
And he has encouraged those that come in to stake a strong claim for selection against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
McCann said: “It’s an opportunity for some to get 90 minutes into their legs and to try to impress and force their way into the team.
“On the whole they've been quite good in terms of the U23 games and behind-closed-doors games.
“We’ll be happy, we’ll be smiley and we're looking forward to this week ahead.
“We want to try to get some positive results to get back on track.”
Should Rovers win, goal difference may come into play to decide which two teams will advance should Grimsby Town beat Newcastle United U21.
McCann remains keen to advance in the competition despite a growing injury problem at the club and what he sees as a lack of interest in the Checkatrade Trophy as a whole.
He said: ”This is a competition we want to try to progress in.
“I've said it before that no one is interested in the Checkatrade until you're further in it, which is something we're trying to do.
“People become more interested all of a sudden.
“It's a competition we want to try to get into the next round.
“We know by winning we will do so that is our aim.”