Micky Mellon says Shrewsbury will not attempt to match Manchester United but can win the FA Cup fifth-round tie by working hard.
The Shrews host United for the first time in their history on Monday night knowing a victory would push Louis van Gaal closer to the Old Trafford exit door.
Shrewsbury lost 2-1 to Chelsea in last season’s League Cup after giving them a scare and Mellon plans a similar approach against United.
He said: “If I said we are going to go toe-to-toe with Manchester United, match them right up, hit possession in the final third and pin them right back, they’ll think I’m bananas.
“We have to be realistic and say in every game you have a chance, we have to work hard on making that chance bigger.
“We did it against Chelsea, in certain areas of the pitch we knew we had to be good, certain personnel we had to stop service to, we also knew certain times in the game we had to get through, first 20 minutes, half-time, then we knew our chance had increased.
Shrewsbury only lost to Chelsea last season after a late Jermaine Grandison own goal and Mellon wants them to approach the United game in the same fearless way.
He said: “I think we said let’s acknowledge the fact that it’s a huge game, a fantastic opportunity for us, a lot of people are interested to speak to us and see what we do, let’s embrace that and enjoy it but really keep that focus on there being a game at the end of it.
“Of course it’s a huge game. But I’ve said to the players that I’m determined they’re going to enjoy it because it’s Manchester United and it’s fantastic to be able to say that.
“So we’ll try and enjoy it but keep that level of focus on it as well because we did that last time with Chelsea and it seemed to work really well.”