Rotherham United skipper Craig Morgan says every player at the club is relishing the chance to prove themselves in the Championship.
The Millers produced their best football of the season against promotion favourites Watford on Tuesday before slipping to a 2-0 defeat.
And Morgan believes he and his teammates are up for the challenge of the second tier after back-t0-back promotions.
“For every player it is a massive step up,” the centre-half said.
“The more the Premier League squads get reduced, the more players filter down into the Championship, and you’re playing against excellent players every week.
“It’s what you set out to do in your career, to play at the highest level you can and against the best players.”
“There is no player here that isn’t ready for the challenge. Playing against (Troy) Deeney was a good test. He is a very good player and it was a challenge.”
The Millers have opened their campaign with matches against three of the mos-fancied sides in the division, Derby County, Wolves and the Hornets. After an unlucky 1-0 defeat at the iPro Stadium, Steve Evans’ men beat Wolves 1-0 before losing in midweek despite dominating before the break.
Morgan added: “We are happy with our first-half performance. Whether they stepped it up a gear in the second half or we weren’t at it as much, I don’t know. But they played really well in the second half and edged us.
“We are always disappointed to concede goals. The game was stretched for the second goal, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.
“First half, we gave them a bit of a scare and in the second half for 20 minutes we held them at bay. They have got some quality individuals, but that’s what we are going to face all season.”
Next up is Millwall away on Saturday, and Morgan said: “We have got to forget about Watford, take the positives out of it and go away to Millwall. As we proved in the first half, we are a match for anyone, but we have got to do it for 90 minutes.
“We believe in ourselves that we can do that.”