The eagerly-anticipated draw for the first round of the Capital One Cup has taken place and managers up and down the country have given their thoughts.

Swindon Town boss Paolo Di Canio is relishing the chance of his side coming up against higher division opponents once again in the competition after they were paired with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Di Canio lead the Robins to victory  against Championship side Bristol City at the same stage of the competition in last season and the Italian is looking forward to a high-profile start to the new campaign.

"Obviously I am very happy with the draw. Last season we started the season very well in the cups against higher division opposition and we now have that opportunity again," Di Canio told www.swindontownfc.co.uk.

"There were many good games against higher division teams last season and the game against Brighton means we can challenge another of those sides.

"It will be special this year because the game is played before the league season begins. It will be an important test against a good footballing side."

Meanwhile, Northampton Town boss Aidy Boothroyd stated his delight at being drawn against last season's defeated finalists Cardiff City.

Boothroyd told www.ntfc.co.uk: "I think because the first round is before the league season begins it is a very good opportunity to test ourselves against a very good side.

"Cardiff had a superb run in this competition last season, so they will know all about the excitement and opportunity that the Capital One Cup can bring. It is an exciting game to start the season with."

Aldershot Town boss Dean Holdsworth also spoke of his pleasure after being paired with Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were relegated from the Premier League last term.

The Shots made a name for themselves in last season's competition by beating three higher-ranked sides on their way to a fourth round 3-0 defeat to Manchester United.

Holdsworth told www.theshots.co.uk: "Last season's run in the competition was a great experience for everybody concerned and it gave the club a huge lift.

"To be paired to play a club who were a Premier League team just last season will be another occasion for supporters, players and management to look forward to. I am delighted for everybody concerned."

Elsewhere, Championship side Middlesbrough were handed a first round tie away from home against lower league opposition for the second successive season, this time against Bury.

Last term, Boro were paired with Walsall and put in a professional display to beat the Saddlers comfortably 3-0. Boss Tony Mowbray will be expecting for more of the same from his side at Gigg Lane.

"We'll expect a very tough game from a team who finished in the middle of League 1 last season," Mowbray told www.mfc.co.uk.

"Hopefully we'll be ready and we'll do as we did last season at Walsall and be as professional as possible. Let's see if we can start the season away from home like we did for most of last term, with a good result."

League 2 Rotherham United, meanwhile, have been handed a tie against near-neighbours Hull City.

The match will give Millers boss Steve Evans a chance to showcase his side, which already includes seven pre-season signings, against the Tigers and their new boss Steve Bruce.

"This game will give us a good early benchmark of where we are and it will be a baptism of fire for what will virtually be a new team that has been put together," Evans told www.themillers.co.uk.

"I believe that you have to test yourself against the best and compete against the best, and in Hull we have a chance to go there and try and beat one of the best teams in the draw," he added.

Finally, AFC Wimbledon are hoping to make the most of their first appearance in the Capital One Cup as they take on League 1 Stevenage in the opening round in early August.

Assistant manager Stuart Cash said: "We had a hard draw last year against Crawley [in a preliminary round] and went out, and I am looking forward to trying to make up for that this year.

"We were new to it all last season and were maybe concentrating on the league, but we want to do well in the competition this time."

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