Walsall boss Darrell Clarke is looking forward to locking horns with Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett in tonight’s Leasing.com Trophy clash at the Banks’s Stadium.
The Saddlers will be aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the competition when they take on League One Pompey.
Clarke has a lot of respect for his opposite number and is expecting a difficult game against Jackett’s team.
"We have the holders and they have a very talented squad,” said Clarke.
"I like Kenny. He invited me when I lost my job at (Bristol) Rovers.
"I went over to Pomey and Kenny's a great man.
"Someone I look up to with the success he's had.
"He's certainly getting Portsmouth back on the right foot after a bad start.”
Clarke is keen to keep the squad as fresh as possible after the busy Christmas period and will assess his squad ahead of this evening’s game.
"I have to have a look at the team to be honest with you, because one or two are running on empty,” he admitted.
"I have to be careful that I'm not losing more players for four to six weeks.
"We'll assess and see where we're at by Tuesday.”