Darrell Clarke insisted his Bristol Rovers side would go to Chelsea looking to win after they booked a trip to Stamford Bridge by beating Cardiff 1-0 in the EFL Cup.
The Rovers boss was still blinking in disbelief after watching midfielder Chris Lines, who failed to score in more than 30 appearances last season, strike a stunning 35-yard extra-time winner.
Clarke said: “Chelsea will be a fantastic challenge for me as a coach and for the team. My attitude will be the same as always. We will go there to win.
“It will be a great day out for our fans and fantastic for the profile of our club. But for me it will be all about the result, as in any other games.
“I have great faith in my players and tonight they have shown how well they can stick to a game plan. We knew Cardiff would have a lot of the ball and set up to combat that.
“It was a great strike to win the game, but what pleased me most about Chris Lines’ contribution was his defensive play.
“We have something like four league games before the Chelsea tie and I never look beyond the next project.
“I don’t ever get carried away with one result, but I did say to the lads before the game this evening that it was our cup final as far as I was concerned.
“Knowing we would face Chelsea did not affect my team selection because we had already started working on Cardiff before the draw was announced. But it was certainly a great incentive.”
Lines found the roof of the net with the sweetest of right-footed strikes on 115 minutes, with the tie looking set for a penalty shoot-out.
There had been few chances in normal time, but the extra period saw both goalkeepers make full-length saves and Cardiff substitute Frederic Gounongbe hit a post from a great chance moments after Lines had scored.
Cardiff head coach Paul Trollope, who was returning to a club he served as player and manager, failed to attend the post-match press conference, having spoken to television cameras after the match.
As he went to board the team coach defender Sean Morrison talked briefly about the game.
“We felt we had plenty of possession in the game and enough to come away with a result,” he said.
“But it didn’t go for us in front of goal tonight and Bristol Rovers have won it with a great strike.
“Yes, it’s a disappointment for us to go out of the EFL Cup, but the games come thick and fast now and we need to get straight back on it on Sunday.”