Liverpool striker Andy Carroll admits he’s ‘buzzing’ for this weekend’s Carling Cup final at Wembley, but won’t be taking the challenge of Cardiff City lightly.
The Reds will start Sunday’s showpiece event as favourites, with Championship opposition standing in the way of a record eighth win in the competition.
But last January’s £35 million signing knows the promotion-chasing Bluebirds will be up for the challenge when they arrive in the English capital, and believes Liverpool must treat their opponents like a top Premier League side.
"It will be a tough game. They have got to the final too and they've got there for a reason. They're a good team, so it's a going to be difficult. I am just looking forward to getting there and playing against them," he told the official Reds website.
"I know they are in the league below, but they've got to Wembley for a reason. We've got to go and think we're playing against Manchester United. We've got to treat it as though they are the best team we'll play against.
"I am buzzing and can't wait for it. All of the lads are the same. It's a cup final at Wembley for Liverpool, so it's great. I came here to win medals. Getting to Wembley is great - now hopefully we can go there and get the win."
The England forward has started to show signs of his very best at Anfield, impressing in the Reds’ recent 6-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup fifth round.
A goal and assist helped Kenny Dalglish’s side reach the last eight of the other Cup competition, and Carroll’s partnership with Uruguayan hitman Luis Suarez provides plenty of reason for optimism on Merseyside.
"We've been training well together, so when it comes to a game it's just natural. You saw against Brighton we both got on the scoresheet, so it's coming off," he continued.
"I haven't been fit in all of the time I've been here, but training together has shown we can do it (as a partnership) and against Brighton we showed we can score goals up front together.
"As I said, we've got a big squad and everyone is a great player. Anyone can come in really and you've always got to stay on your toes and train well to stay in your position."