Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi is aware that his side face a tough test in the form of Fleetwood Town at the City Ground tonight.
The Reds face the League One outfit in tonight’s Carabao Cup first-round tie, and it won’t be an easy task for the hosts.
The Fishermen have enjoyed a perfect start to the season under the management of Joey Barton. They’ve won their first two games in League One against Peterborough United and AFC Wimbledon.
They’ll be arriving at the City Ground full of confidence and believing they can progress through to the next round of the competition.
In comparison, the Reds are yet to secure their first win of the season. Albeit they have faced a very tough start against West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United in the Championship.
The Reds haven’t been knocked out in the first round of this competition for four years. Dougie Freedman’s side came out on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller against Walsall in 2015.
Lamouchi will be keen to ensure that his side do not suffer the same fate tonight.
He’s left his players in no doubt of how difficult the match will be. Speaking ahead of the game to the club’s official site, he said: “It’s a trap game for us, a very difficult game.
“This is not a game for experimentation or just to give some game-time to the new players, this is a game where we need to put out the best available team and progress to the next round.
“The league is always the priority but the best way to prepare for Birmingham is to play well and win against Fleetwood.”
This is the first of two successive home games for the Reds. They will return to the City Ground to face Birmingham City at the weekend. There’s no doubt that Lamouchi will have one eye on that game.
However, it would be wise to take tonight’s game as seriously as possible. If you can go on a good run in this competition, it can help breed confidence which can be taken into the league campaign.
Judging by his pre-match comments, this is exactly what Lamouchi is planning on doing.