Grimsby Town defender Ben Davies is looking forward to playing against former club Derby County in the first round of the Carabao Cup at Blundell Park tonight (7.45pm). The 36-year-old right-back, who made 75 league appearances for the Rams between 2011 and 2014, looks set to start tonight with Zak Mills suspended and he admitted he’s eager for the challenge.
He told iFollow Mariners: “It is a tough challenge because even if they make three or four changes they’re bringing in three or four internationals.
“They’re a club who have spent a lot of money over the last few years to try and get to the Premier League, and they see themselves as a Premier League outfit.
“But it’s a good test. We’ve got lads in there who probably think they can play at a higher level, and want to play at a higher level, and it’s a chance to pit yourself against some great footballers.
“It’ll be good to see them again, but we know what they’re about. We know how good they are.”
But Davies, who scored the Mariners’ 85th-minute penalty in the 3-1 win at Chesterfield on Saturday, said the Rams will be aware of what Russell Slade’s men can do, after they edged past Town 1-0 at the same stage of the competition last season. “They played well at their place last year, but we’ve got them at home this year and they’ll probably be a bit more wary of us this year after last year.
“The first half an hour, I don’t think they touched the ball. We kept it and played well, so they’ll know we’ve got some decent players here.
“But it’s a great game for us – it’s a great challenge – because we’ve got players who, going forward, can hurt them and can be dangerous going the other way.
“Especially at home, we fancy ourselves against anyone. “It would be lovely [to go on a cup run]. It’s one of those competitions where from the first round, you’re playing against a decent team so the further and further that you go, you’re going to have to be on your mettle because you’re playing against top-class teams,” he said.
Watch the full interview with Ben Davies on iFollow Mariners above. Ben tells us what it's like to face Siriki Dembele in training and what he makes of the player.
Tickets are still available for tonight’s clash with Gary Rowett’s men.