Rod McDonald says Crewe Alexandra are ‘raring to go’ in search of three points at Carlisle United on Saturday.
The defender, who switched to Mornflake Stadium in the summer after two years with The Cumbrians, is relishing his return to Brunton Park.
The 30-year-old says The Railwaymen have shaken off the disappointment of last weekend’s defeat to Mansfield Town, and are ready for the challenge.
McDonald said: “The boys are all excited and raring to go. It was a kick in the teeth against Mansfield but hopefully we’ll do that to teams this season too, so it’s swings and roundabouts in football.
“It happens to everyone so don’t worry about it, dust yourselves down and go again.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky and shown a bit of naivety at times, but we are learning and I think we’ll get stronger and stronger as the season goes on.
“I’m excited to go back to Carlisle and see some familiar faces, I’ve got quite a few friends there and it’ll be nice to have a catch-up.
“Carlisle will be hard-working, aggressive and on the front foot. It’s a tough place to go because Brunton Park can be a fortress at times.”
McDonald was brought up in the local area, but joined Stoke City as a youth. He has played for the likes of Northampton, Coventry and AFC Wimbledon in a varied career.
Now he is enjoying being closer to home, and forging a partnership with captain Luke Offord at the heart of defence.
McDonald added: “I love it. I’m a local lad, my family is here and it’s nice to be finally home after six-seven years of being away. Being home and seeing my kids every day is a big plus, so I’m really happy.
“Luke was on loan at Nantwich Town when my brother was the assistant manager there, so I knew a lot about him anyway.
“He’s a top lad, he’s always willing to listen and learn, and he knows I’m willing to listen and learn from him too.
"He’s got to keep doing what he’s doing and I think he can play at a higher level one day.”