Scunthorpe United: Damien Mozika part of Iron squad travelling to Gillingham
Boss Brian Laws believes this weekend's FA Cup trip to Gillingham is 'the perfect game' with which to make his return to management at Scunthorpe United.
The Iron are a division above the Gills, but given their struggles this season, coupled with their hosts' fantastic form, which has taken them to the top of League Two, in reality, only three league places separate the sides.
Gillingham have won 11 of their 15 league matches this season, justifying their decision to appoint colourful character Martin Allen as their manager during the summer.
"I know Martin well," said Laws, ahead of the Iron's first visit to the Priestfield Stadium in six years, when he was also boss of United.
"His teams play in a certain way. They are aggressive, high tempo and they'll be at us very early on in the game.
"We'll probably be the underdogs, but do we take any notice of that, no. Does anybody, really?
"They'll probably look at it as an opportunity for them. If you look at our record, they'll see it as a chance for them to win and continue their good form.
"But we've got players that can hurt them too and I'd like to think they'll be very concerned about one or two of our players.
"We've got to make sure it's very difficult for them.
"At the end of the day, we are in the league above and we've got good players who can play on the stage and hurt them.
"There's a different pressure on us this week. This is financial pressure for the football club rather than three points being at stake.
"For me, it's the perfect game."
Scunthorpe will be without their two loanees at the Priestfield Stadium as Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic have refused permission to let David Prutton and Leon Clarke play.
On the plus side, Andy Barcham is available after an ankle injury and Laws hopes the winger can use the opportunity of returning to his former club to spark him into the sort of form that saw the 25-year-old finish the last campaign as the Iron's top scorer.
"I'd like to think he is eager to play against his former club," said Laws on Barcham. "There could be a little spark there."
The Iron boss gave away little about the system United will play and the personnel he will pick against the Gills.
He did though reveal midfielder Damien Mozika will travel south with the rest of the squad as he nears a return to full fitness following ankle surgery in the summer.
Mozika hasn't played a match this term but with reserve games few and far between, he may have to build up his fitness on the field of play.
"Ideally he (Mozika) needs games, there's no question about that," Laws added.
"It's difficult to arrange anything in terms of friendlies because we've got games coming up thick and fast, but we'll try to fit some in.
"It might be the case that Mozika has to get his fitness on the pitch, whether it be 20 minutes or 30 minutes.
"We can't wait two weeks down the line for his next game. Needs must now. We need players who've got something about them and hopefully he can add to the squad.
"He'll get more minutes probably with the first team than he would in a reserve game.
"He's travelling with us on Saturday, so that gives you an indication that he's going to be part of the squad."