Nottingham Forest take on struggling Peterborough United in a vital game for both clubs in the EFL Championship this Saturday.
The fixture – which will take place at the City Ground at 3pm – is a rarity as the two clubs meet each other for the first time since 2013. The Reds have not been beaten by the Posh since 2011.
Forest go into the game at the weekend currently 16th with four draws and one win in their last five games, whereas Posh – who are currently 22nd – have lost three and drawn two.
Speaking at a press conference, Forest head coach Steve Cooper said his team need to be prepared and “embrace” the crowd at the City Ground.
He said: “I do not pay attention to form, I only look at what can happen in a game. I know [Peterborough United manager] Darren Ferguson, although I have not seen him for a few years, I did spend a lot of time with him as a player at Wrexham.
“He is a very experienced manager, got a load of games under his belt, he knows what he is doing. He’s had promotions and knows how to set a team up to win, so I respect that a lot.
“There’ll be 28,000 people coming here and that’s amazing. We need to be at our very best and make sure that when people leave, they are proud of their team.
“We just have to focus on ourselves and make sure that we thrive in our home stadium, and we embrace the amount of people that watch us and give them something to support.”
Steve Shephard, Forest fan and member of the Nottingham Forest Supporters Club and management committee, said he is “genuinely looking forward” to the match and expects Forest to win, as he said Posh are “struggling for their lives”.
Shephard said: “A lot of things have changed at Forest and it’s a different atmosphere, we are now genuinely looking forward to going to the games.
“It will not be an easy game. They never are, that is the EFL Championship for you. It is a game which Forest should win, but we are playing a team in Peterborough who are fighting for their lives at the bottom.”
Shephard said the aim for this season is to make it into a play-off spot this season as he said they have a “good chance”.
However, he confessed that the January transfer window will be important, but that it is difficult to do “good business” in winter.
🗞 Please note important changes to access to The City Ground
🔜 Starting from tomorrow 🆚 Peterborough
🏟 Biggest crowd of the season with 28,000+ expected
🎟 Secure your tickets: https://t.co/q9geqKOVHl
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) December 3, 2021
Player to watch for Forest: Lewis Grabban, Forest’s top scorer this season with eight goals.
Player to watch for Peterborough: Siriki Dembélé, Posh’s top scorer this season with four goals.
Life-long Posh fan and also the club’s statistician Mick Robinson, 68 – who since 1973 has only missed two league games – said his team must put in a “good performance”.
He said: “I always go into Posh games hoping they will put in the performance firstly. We have been putting in good performances as otherwise we will get what we deserve, like when we played Blackburn Rovers last week and lost 4-0.
“Out of the 20 games in the Championship this season, 15 of them Posh have put in a good performance and I was proud of the team.
“I hope by the end of the season, at least three other teams are worse off than us and we can stay up.”
If you would like to watch the game, a seasonal Nottingham Forest match pass can be purchased here.