Brentford host Forest Green in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday as Thomas Frank’s side return to a competition he believes prepared them for life in the Premier League.
The Bees beat four top-flight sides on their way to the semi-final last season, where they eventually fell to Tottenham.
Southampton, West Brom, Fulham and Newcastle were all dispatched by Frank’s side, who were also concentrating on gaining promotion from the Sky Bet Championship at the same time.
Now they return to the Carabao Cup as a target for a scalp but Frank was in no doubt how much the competition set his team up for the big time.
“It definitely gave us a boost that we could compete against these strong clubs in the Premier League, 100 per cent,” he said.
“One of the biggest boosts was against Southampton in the second round, that is a good reminder and I will say it to the players tomorrow, they played their strongest starting XI they could put out and we put a strong side out, six or seven normal starters, and that was enough on the day to beat them.
“That confidence we can bring to the players, we have a good squad, they are training really well and there are lots of players who deserve to get a chance.”
Asked about the differences of entering the Carabao Cup as a top-flight club, Frank replied: “Actually last year was in some ways even more tricky.
“We have the most condensed season ever in the Championship and by the time we faced Tottenham in the semi-final last year we were the team in Europe that had played the most games overall.
“More than Tottenham, more than Real Madrid, more than Barcelona, more than Man City, more than Liverpool.
“So all these big clubs flying in private jets and we were cruising around in buses and trains and we don’t have recovery bits.
“But we still managed to do it because I have unbelievable staff and players. We want to treat it equally as important, we would like to do even better than last year if possible.”