Steve Evans is expecting to face a tough test this weekend against Sunderland in the Emirates FA Cup.
Gillingham sit 16th in League one and have picked up just one win from their previous five games.
But with this weekend's round one tie at the Stadium of Light providing a break from league action, Evans is excited about the round one tie that sees his side go into it as "big underdogs".
“Immediately after the draw you think, ‘wow, tough’," he said.
"Everyone outside of Gillingham will be thinking we’re going to go out. We will be big underdogs.
“They have got back to a good bit of form under Phil Parkinson.
He continued: “They will be at full strength I am sure. They will be as eager to win as we are, and it will be keenly contested.”
Evans has a history in this competition and nearly knocked Manchester United out back in 2011 when he was Crawley Town boss.
“The FA Cup is always brilliant, it’s special, a fantastic competition. I have been there in the first qualifying round back in the day at Stamford and I’ve been in the fifth round at Old Trafford. It’s always great,” Evans said.
“Going to the Stadium of Light is great any time. I’ve been to watch under-23 games and that over the years. It’s always a brilliant place to go.
He added: “I was very fortunate when Sam Allardyce was the manager to be invited up there a few times as his guest.
“Peterborough are the only team I have taken there. We drew but should have won!”
“We want to be coming back from Sunderland on Saturday looking forward to the draw in the next round.”