Kevin Nolan is looking forward to taking on Nottingham Forest for the first time as manager of Notts County.
The Magpies welcome their city rivals to Meadow Lane for their first home pre-season friendly tomorrow night and the boss sees the contest against Championship opposition as an opportunity for his players to showcase their ability.
He said: "It's what we need. It's another test for our lads against good opposition which means we can start stepping the boys up and get more minutes into their legs.
"We have other fixtures, which are classed as reserve games, which will allow us to ensure we can spread the minutes around and make sure all the lads get the same amount of gametime.
"It's about us making sure we build the players up to certain thresholds so we are ready to rumble come 5 August against Coventry."
It has been all change at Meadow Lane during the close-season with plenty of improvements made around the ground - including a new pitch - and Nolan cannot wait to see his side play on it.
"It's going to be a lovely occasion," he said. "We have a fantastic new pitch which Alan and the groundstaff have sorted for us and worked tirelessly on. I have to say it looks absolutely magnificent.
"We are getting a lot of behind the scenes work done inside the stadium to take things up by another 10 notches to give us Premier League facilities which will be a big plus in making people want to come and be a part of it here."