Hart warns players: Don't get cocky
NOTTINGHAM Forest boss Paul Hart has warned his young side not to get too cocky after two impressive victories over Derby and Norwich City ahead of this weekend's crucial clash with Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
NOTTINGHAM Forest boss Paul Hart has warned his young side not to get too cocky after two impressive victories over Derby and Norwich City ahead of this weekend's crucial clash with Ipswich Town at Portman Road, writes Derek Davis.
The Blues are four points behind Forest, who have two games in hand, so three points against Town, who currently lie immediately outside the play-off places, would go a long way towards securing Hart's side a top-six spot.
But conversely any slip-up could herald the beginning of a wobbly slide for the relatively inexperienced Forest team who would have Ipswich breathing right down their necks with less than a month of the regular season to go.
Hart warned: “Ipswich are going to represent a pretty tough test. They have still got the bulk of the side they came down from the Premiership with, they are on a bit of a run and are probably the best team that has come here this season.
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“It is always going to be a difficult game but, with what is now at stake, it is going to be very interesting.”
Des Walker could force his way into Saturday's squad if he doesn't suffer any reaction after playing for the reserves against Fulham last night.
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Gareth Williams was in the Scotland Under-21 squad that lost to Lithuania last night while Michael Dawson joined his former team-mates Jermaine Jenas and David Prutton in the England side that faced Turkey at St James' Park.
Chris Doig was sent home by Scotland Under-21 manager Rainer Bonhof after showing symptoms of a hernia but Darren Ward and Andy Reid were expected to be back training for Forest tomorrow.
Wales have not travelled to Serbia-Montenegro after political unrest in Belgrade, leaving Ward free to return to the City Ground, while Reid was suspended from the Republic of Ireland's clash with Albania after being sent off in their game against Georgia on Saturday.
Hart, who watched Dawson play for England Under-21s against Portugal on Friday, said he had his fingers crossed that there would be no injury worries before Saturday's trip to Ipswich Town.
He said: “All I want is for them to return back free from injury having played well.
“We have had some of the lads in but it means we cannot really get down to the nitty-gritty of preparing for the Ipswich match until Thursday.”
He believes a full complement of players will be vital for Forest to cement their play-off status.
He said: “We have now got six matches in the space of 16 days and we have only got a small squad so that is going to be stretched.
“We need everybody to be fit and ready to have a go. For the lads that are still here, we have to keep things interesting for them but, really, nothing changes. You just have to get on with it.”