Rotherham United defender Joe Mattock is under no illusions over the scale of the task ahead of him and his teammates this Saturday, when they travel to face Wycombe Wanderers.
The fixture marks the Millers opening Sky Bet Championship game of the new 2020/21 campaign, following promotion last term.
For the Chairboys, this will be their first ever taste of second tier action and Mattock knows the players have to be up for a battle to secure a result at Adams Park this weekend.
“I'm massively looking forward to it, it's always an exciting challenge going into the Championship and on the back of some good form from last year," Mattock told www.themillers.co.uk.
“It's a tough first match against Wycombe, it's going to be a feisty game and we're going to have to be up for it to get a result.
“They are very physical and will be pressing right from the start. In a way they are very similar to us, we need to make sure we're at 100%.
“At the end of the day it is 11v11 and we just need to make sure we come out on top.
“From my experience it's not just about playing well, you've got to have the drive to come and make sure you're up for the game physically and mentally.
“We've got plenty of players in the team that can produce a bit of magic, you get that in the Championship.”
Now 30, Mattock is heading into his sixth season as a Rotherham United player, having signed for the club in the summer of 2015.
Three of his five previous campaigns with the Millers have been spent in the Sky Bet Championship and having worn the captain’s armband on a number of occasions, the left-back is now an experienced head for younger players to confide in.
“I've got a good relationship with the gaffer and he's made me captain a few times. Once I put that armband on it said to me I had to step up to the plate to be a senior player.
“That was the main point really, as long as I can keep passing on the information and making sure I can help everyone I can.
“The coaching staff and the manager make sure we get as much information as possible and it's my duty to try and pass some of that on.
“I've been playing 13 years now and half of that has been in the Championship, anything I can pass on I will do," Mattock added.
Mattock caught the eye with a stunning free-kick during a 3-0 pre-season victory over Mansfield Town.
The defender admits it isn’t something he’d practiced during lockdown but insists he has been working on his dead-ball prowess ever since the team returned to Roundwood for their pre-season preparations.
“I'd like to say yes, but no I haven't been practicing (free-kicks) during during lockdown, I've done more running and zoom calls than anything else.
“Since we've been back for pre-season I have been practicing free-kicks, obviously putting one in from 25 yards means you need to keep practicing them.
“Everyone likes to see them, the fans and the coaching staff. The pressure is on and hopefully I can put a couple more in," Mattock added.