It will be a proud moment for Mansfield Town’s West Midlands-based defender Mal Benning to run out at the Hawthorns for tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup second round tie against Championship giants West Bromwich Albion (8pm).
“It’s literally two minutes from my house. It’s going to be a good match and I am looking forward to it,” he smiled.
“I will have plenty of family there – at least 40 people.
“I either wanted Aston Villa or West Brom in the draw.
“I support Liverpool but some of my family are Villa fans and some are West Brom fans so it’s a good draw.”
He added: “I always drive past the stadium and say I need to play at that stadium. I’ve been there quite a few times to watch but it will be a first time playing there.
“We have great confidence at the moment and we are creating a lot of chances, so we are looking forward to it and could give them some surprises.”
Stags midfielder Alex MacDonald said he was also looking forward to a game on the huge stage of the Hawthorns.
“It’s a good draw,” he said. “You always want to test yourself against the big boys and they have recently been relegated from the Premier League.
“At this stage of the competition there’s probably not a bigger tie to be had so we are excited for that.
“When you go to these big away grounds you go there with an excitement and a freedom to play.
“Sometimes it can be a great thing to go and play your football with that freedom - and we’ve got our style of play. We will go there, be as positive as we can and see where it takes us.”
This cup clash will only be the clubs’ third ever meeting.
The sides have been drawn together in the second round of the Carabao Cup (8pm).
The only other season the sides clashed was back in 1992/93 when they were both in Division Two.
The Baggies won the first meeting 2-0 at home just before Christmas before a resounding 3-0 victory at Field Mill in April as George Foster’s men suffered relegation.