CITY hit the Carabao Cup trail at Macclesfield tonight with Michael Collins warning: Losing is unacceptable.

The first-round tie has thrown up a trip to the League Two new boys, who have suffered successive losses since winning promotion from the Conference.

Eoin Doyle (dead leg) and Adam Chicksen (cut eye) are both expected to be fit as Collins prepares to field a strong side in City’s first visit to Moss Rose for seven years.

And he insists the attitude must be spot-on for a contest where they will start firm favourites.

Collins said: “I’d expect Macclesfield to be very aggressive and trying to impose themselves on us from the division above.

“The most important thing for us is that we go there with the right mentality and attitude. We need to give them the respect they deserve but also to stamp our authority on the game.

“If we do anything less, then these are the sort of games where you can slip up.

“The cup competitions are very important for clubs in Leagues One and Two because of the finance.

“We won’t be treating this game as an opportunity to get more minutes in the legs. We’re going there determined to win.

“If we go to Macclesfield and lose, that will be unacceptable. There’s no patching it up.”

City have not won a game in the League Cup since 2014 and that come-from-behind Valley Parade victory over Leeds.

After three successive exits at the first stage, the club are targeting a potential money-spinning run in a competition where they famously went all the way to Wembley five years ago.

Collins added: “It was massive at the time and one of the stories of the season.

“There will often be a team that gets on a little bit of a run but that was probably a complete one-off when Bradford made the final.

“I just think cup competitions are a great opportunity to build a bit of momentum. It’s a distraction from the league and a different format.

“There’s an extra onus on winning in the cup and I used to thrive on that as a player.

“We’ve got to approach this with the mentality that we want to go as far in this competition as we possibly can.

“I’ve seen no hangover from the Barnsley game. Everybody is in a good frame of mind and keen to put it right as fast as they can.

“But if we show any element of disrespect to the opposition, then they are good enough to beat us.”

Collins has the added knowledge of playing twice against Macclesfield last season for Halifax. They were beaten 2-1 at Moss Rose on Boxing Day and 4-1 in the return on New Year’s Day.

He said: “They had a very clear identity to how they played. John Askey got them to dominate the ball and be brave on it and they didn’t deviate from that very much.

“There’s obviously a different manager now so the style certainly alters. A few players have gone but I know quite a few personally from playing against them.

“They are the underdogs and the pressure will be on us. If that gives them the extra five to 10 per cent to go into the game firing then we’re going to have to be well equipped to deal with that.

“I’m a big believer if you match them in those departments, we’ve got a bit more quality in our squad to come through and win the game.”