Sam Allardyce feels Wednesday's Carling Cup tie at Aston Villa has become a more difficult assignment for his team now Gerard Houllier has taken up the reins at the midlands club.
The third-round encounter will be former Liverpool boss Houllier's first match in charge of Villa since his appointment as manager earlier this month.
Allardyce is well aware of their potency in the cups having seen his side eliminated by them in the FA Cup and Carling Cup last season, and the Rovers boss is expecting another tricky task now the opposition have a new man to impress.
"It will be good to see Gerard again," Allardyce said. "He has been involved in many ventures since he left Liverpool - he has been in close touch with football throughout Europe, he has had his position with the French FA and also his job at Lyon.
"He is obviously very eager to get back into this country because he knows it is the best league in the world.
"It was always going to be a difficult game, but I think the players that he will pick will be going all out to impress him."