Brad Guzan insists Aston Villa's players will not be bullied when they tackle the physical challenge posed by Stoke in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium.
Manager Paul Lambert admitted last week that Villa "are not the biggest team" and he joked "we've got one player over six feet tall, the rest are three feet, nine inches tall!" But Villa stood up to be counted when they matched the Potters in a goalless draw in December and goalkeeper Guzan knows the same attitude will be required on Saturday.
The United States international said: "Every game is physical and the more that we can get into team's faces and make it difficult for them to play, the better it is for us."
He continued: "It's high tempo, high energy. We want to make it difficult for them. Stoke are a big team, we'll have to go there, be confident and make sure we win those battles. It won't be easy but we'll definitely be ready for it.
"It's a man's game and you have to be a man about it, win balls in the air, whatever it may be.
"We have to be ready to compete. That's what the Premier League is all about."
Villa are bottom of the Fair Play League and have accumulated 65 bookings and two red cards this season, but Guzan can take positives from that statistic.
"That's the competitive nature," he said. "You never want to see guys get booked but it's about fighting and showing that competitive spirit.
"I'm sure there are some reckless ones in there but that's not going to change the way we play.
"There's a competitive spirit we have in the dressing room where we fight for each other - and fight for the shirt."