Nottingham Forest will be looking to secure their first win of the season against Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup tonight at the City Ground.
The Reds haven’t been beaten in the first round of the competition for four years, when they lost a seven-goal thriller against League One side Walsall.
Sabri Lamouchi will be acutely aware that facing Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town side will not be an easy task. The Fishermen will be hopeful of securing promotion to the Championship themselves this season.
Barton’s past comments on Nottingham Forest when he made his breakthrough as a player make for interesting reading, now that he is arriving at the City Ground as opposition manager.
The 36-year-old was rejected as a youngster by the Reds, before eventually making his first team breakthrough as a player at Manchester City. Albeit over 15 years ago, the one-time England international may still be keen to get one over on the Reds tonight.
Speaking to Sky Sports in 2004, Barton revealed: “Forest regarded me as too small and that I wasn’t good enough.
“I didn’t see that. The rejection hurt a lot, but my mum said to me ‘Don’t let anyone bring you down’.
“So I got my head down; I just wouldn’t give up.”
It’s fair to say that the midfielder went on to have a successful career, albeit overshadowed by controversy. After leaving Manchester City, he went on to play for Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Burnley and Rangers.
Ironically, the Reds came close to signing the midfielder in the latter stages of his career whilst under the management of Dougie Freedman. However, the Reds weren’t able to get a deal over the line.
Now, as a manager, Barton will be hoping his side can beat the Reds and kick-start a memorable cup campaign.
If the Reds can progress, they could face a Premier League side in the next round of the competition. Leicester City, Aston Villa and Newcastle United are among the teams who enter at the next stage.