Plymouth Argyle boss Steven Schumacher says he feels like a “kid at Christmas” before the Papa Johns Trophy final with Bolton, and wants his side to bask in the thrill of a Wembley occasion.
The League One leaders face their fellow promotion contenders on Sunday.
And Schumacher is desperate to improve on the club’s below-par display in their last Wembley appearance in 2016.
“Last time we didn’t play well so that’s one of the things we’ll try to address. Let’s be positive,” he said.
“Let’s be like us. Let’s try to win the game and give a performance we can be proud of.”
Argyle’s trip to the home of English football seven years ago, under former manager Derek Adams, saw them well beaten by AFC Wimbledon in the League Two play-off final.
Schumacher has challenged his side to revel in the pressure this time around and “take the opportunity of getting national exposure”.
“I can’t wait,” he told BBC Radio Devon. “I’ve been like a kid at Christmas. I don’t think it’s possible to look forward to it any more. It’s going to be a great day and a brilliant occasion for everyone associated with the club.
“The tickets that we have sold is just incredible. This is our chance to reward our fans. Walking around the city has been crazy the last few days. Everyone is wishing you well and everyone is dead excited.”
The Pilgrims will be without Adam Randall and defender James Bolton, who has a hamstring injury sustained in the league win over Accrington, but striker Sam Cosgrove is fit again and in the squad.
Bolton, who are fifth in the table, 16 points behind their opponents with eight games of the regular season left to play, have no injury concerns. They played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Rotherham during the international break, but are at full strength for their trip to the capital.
Schumacher has used 30 players in this season’s competition and says picking the matchday squad of 18 will be “really tough”.
“We have seen some young players do really well and seen some seniors do brilliantly,” he said.
“We have a good number of players to choose from. Everybody wants to be involved. There will be difficult conversations. But there is always another game. There are eight more cup finals to go [in the league].”
The 38-year-old Argyle boss said there has been “a lot more going on and a lot more noise around the game”, but the football side of things had been business as usual.
“It’s a bit different,” he added. “But as regard what’s going on on the pitch, the preparation has been quite standard – that is important because Bolton are a good team and you need to be ready for them as best you can.”
Evatt eager to enjoy Wembley experience
Bolton boss Ian Evatt is relishing the prospect of taking the Trotters to Wembley for the first time since their FA Cup semi-final humbling against Stoke City in 2011. But he also has one eye on the promotion run-in.
“Wembley is the best place to win and worst place to lose,” he said. “Fingers crossed we can get the job done and sit back on Sunday night and get ready for Exeter on Friday.
“We’ll enjoy this week up because it’s not every season you get to Wembley cup finals but, come Sunday, it’s a football match we need to go and win, as simple as that.
“After that we need to regroup and focus our minds on what are eight big games to come.”