West Ham United defender George McCartney cannot wait for Tuesday's Capital One Cup clash with Cardiff City as he continues his comeback from a knee injury.
McCartney has only been able to make two appearances in 2013 after initially suffering the injury last December, but having returned to full training and played 90 minutes in the victory over Cheltenham Town in the last round, he is keen for another run out.
The Hammers have already taken on Cardiff in the league this term, beating Malky Mackay's men 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground and McCartney would love a repeat of that outcome.
"It's been a long time since I have come up against opposition as big as Cardiff," he said. "I played in the last round against Cheltenham, and no disrespect to them, but Cardiff are in the Premier League and have brought in a lot of new players. It's going to be on a different level to that game.
"It will be nice to get back out there again, hopefully we'll get a decent result and everything will go well.
"It hasn't really happened for us in cup competitions for the last couple of years, but if you look at the squad now and it's a lot stronger. The team which will go out tonight will be a strong one, the manager and Chairmen have said that it would be good to have a cup run.
"We know it'll be a tough game against Cardiff, but I'm sure we're more than capable of getting the win."
McCartney's injury nightmare included an aborted comeback in March when a substitute's appearance against West Bromwich Albion led to him suffering a setback in his recovery.
Having now fully recovered, he is even more keen to show what he can do on the pitch come Tuesday.
He continued: "I haven't played too much recently. I didn't play in pre-season and it's probably only over the last month that I've been able to get the fitness back up. When you're out for such a long time, it's not easy to just come back into the team, so when Cup games come around it's a chance for the players who haven't been playing to get a game and prove to the manager they can do a decent job.
"It's not just myself, I'm sure the other lads will be looking forward to the game and putting some thoughts in the manager's head.
"From my point of view it's about fitness, about getting some match time and getting back into the swing of things again.
"I first did the injury around December last year, and I came back after three months. You think you're over your problems and that you can kick on and try to have a decent finish to the season.
"But I had a setback, which put me back another four months, so now it's good to be back training again and playing some games."
Tuesday's match also marks the 100th that Sam Allardyce has taken charge of in his time at the club. As one of the arrivals during Big Sam's first summer in east London, McCartney has been impressed with his work with the Hammers.
He added: "He's been great for me. When he brought me down I wasn't playing for Sunderland and he's done a fantastic job for West Ham. He got the club promoted first time round and now you look at the quality of players he's brought in.
"The manager and the team carried on with that great job last year, with all the staff, and we'll be looking to kick on again this year."