Gaffer expects tough test at the City GroundRoyals boss Steve Clarke is ready for a tough test when the Royals visit the City Ground on Saturday – but feels his side are up to the challenge.
“We need a good performance off the back of a good win last week,” said Clarke. “We’re looking to push back into the top six, so we’re ready for the challenge. I’m surprised where they are in table so we go there expecting a difficult game.”
Despite Forest’s league position, Clarke expects stiff opposition and a reaction after a disappointing, late defeat for the home side last time out, losing 2-1 to Brentford at Griffin Park. The manager knows therefore that the Royals must be on the top of their game come the weekend.
“Their home form is good, they’ve struggled away from home this season but they’ve got some good players,” commented Clarke.
“I’m sure they’ll have been really disappointed to lose so late in the game last week against ten men, so they’ll be looking to get back in front of their home fans to make amends. It’s up to us that we make sure we perform to our level and I believe if we do that then we can get a positive result.”
After an important win over Bolton last weekend, Clarke feels that the confidence is back in the squad and that the Royals can start to build momentum heading into a busy Christmas period.
“Players are confidence people they like to play with confidence; we were playing with confidence earlier on in the season and the performances were really good.
“When we had that little dip the performances suffered a little bit and the players struggled, but I think last week’s result will be a big step going forward.
“Immediately after Forest we’ve got QPR and then we’re getting ready for Preston. After that we’re into the busy Christmas period which is always hectic, so there are lots of points to play for and the position at the moment doesn’t look bad.”