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Owls Must Be Respected

6 December 2013

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies has told Forest Player that his side will be treating Sheffield Wednesday with the utmost respect at Hillsborough on Saturday.

The managerless Owls are currently joint-bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, along with South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, and the form that took them there led to manager Dave Jones’ sacking last week.

That paved the way for first-team coach Stuart Gray to take temporary charge and, should the former Reds midfielder be interested in the vacancy, he will have done his chances no harm by guiding Wednesday to a 2-1 victory over league-leaders Leicester in midweek.

That result serves as a warning not only to those who had considered Wednesday fellow battlers against relegation, but to any side that crosses The Owls’ path as they look to vacate the bottom three as quickly as possible.

And while he says their win over The Foxes has made no difference to his preparations for the Hillsborough trip, The Reds boss knows his men must have their wits about them this weekend.

He said: “It doesn’t matter about their result on Tuesday. We have always been preparing for a very tough away game in Sheffield and we will continue to do so.

“Irrespective of league position we will always give our opponents the respect they deserve. At this time of the year everybody is fighting for very important points.

“There is no easy place to play football. Picking up points in the Championship is very difficult and you should never underestimate anyone in this league. They are all very, very tough matches.”

The fixtures are now coming thick in fast in the run up to Christmas and while the upcoming period will be a huge test of his side’s physical strength, the manager says they must also be mentally strong.

The Reds boss said: “The psychology and mind-set of the player becomes very important at this stage.

“The most important thing for us is to stay in the pack, get to the next transfer window and see where we are from there.”

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