Steve Cooper has told his Nottingham Forest side that they need to be ‘almost perfect’ to stand any chance of beating Liverpool tomorrow.
The Reds travel to the City Ground looking for their fourth straight victory in all competitions and will also be hoping for a third consecutive clean sheet.
Forest, meanwhile, have won just one game since returning to the Premier League for the first time since 1999 and although the former Liverpool Academy coach is aware that his side need to be right at it against Jurgen Klopp’s men, he insists they will head into the game with confidence.
“There might not be that many weaknesses, but at the same time, you’ve got to go into these games really backing yourself and really thinking you can make a difference – both as a player and with the plan. We’re at home, in our stadium, with the support we get,” he said (as quoted by the Independent).
“We’re not going to go into the game fearing it and in awe of Liverpool. We respect one of the real powerhouses of the league, and any day you play them is as tough as it can get – particularly if they’re on their game.
“We have to be almost perfect in all parts of our game to play well. But why not?
“We will analyse them, like we analyse every opponent, while trying to have an impact on the game with our ideas. A bit of good momentum, a good start, a bit of luck, who knows.
“We’ll be going into the game with confidence. We know results are nowhere near where we want them or where they should be, but the spirit is strong and the togetherness is strong.
“We don’t look like a set of players and staff that have had poor results – because that can easily happen when you’ve had some harsh defeats. We’re actually really determined and more motivated than ever.
“I think you saw a good side of that at Brighton. We’ve got to keep building on that while trying to improve with the ball and improve all areas of our game. This is a brilliant football challenge, and one we are committed to.”
Forest will be right up for the challenge and will be eager to cause an upset in front of their home supporters.
We faced Cooper’s side away from home in the FA Cup last season and got a taster of how difficult a place it is to visit despite earning a 1-0 victory.
We will once again be without the services of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz with the pair remaining sidelined through injury but after earning huge back-to-back Premier League victories over Manchester City and West Ham recently we head into the game full of confidence.
The two-time European Cup winners have opened the scoring in each of their last three home games but have failed to win any of them – it’s therefore imperative that even if we do fall behind at the City Ground we remain positive as the newly-promoted side has struggled to hold onto the lead so far this term.
Let’s hope for a huge performance from the lads to see us climb up to fifth place before the weekend’s other fixtures take place.