Nottingham Forest defender Greg Halford says the final pre-season friendly against West Bromwich Albion will give the Reds a good chance to measure themselves against top-flight opposition.
Alan Irvine brings his Albion side to The City Ground tomorrow (kick-off 1.30pm) and Halford says the players are eagerly anticipating their last pre-season test following a summer of intense but enjoyable training.
He told Forest Player: “It will be the first time we’ve been on the City Ground pitch in pre-season so that will be nice. Also, to test ourselves against a Premier League outfit is going to be very beneficial for us and will show us where we need to improve as a team.
“Pre-season has been really good. Preparations have gone well, everyone has been working really hard and although results haven’t gone as we would have liked, it is all about getting fit and prepared for the start of the season next Saturday.”
The former Sheffield United man will miss the first two games of the season through suspension and knows he will have a difficult task on his hands to break back into the starting line-up.
He said: “Fortunately the games come around quickly so I’ll be back in contention within a week. Everyone is looking forward to the start of the season now because it is always a long road through the summer.
“I’ve got a tough job to get back into the side because the manager has added some quality players to the squad. But now I’m looking forward to working hard and hopefully re-gaining a place in the team when my suspension ends.”
One noteworthy positive of the pre-season campaign has been the introduction of some of the club’s younger players into first-team action and Halford says they have not looked out of place next to their senior teammates.
He said: “I’ve been very impressed with the young players. Jorge and Tyler have been with us since day one and obviously Roger played for the first time at York on Wednesday.
“It is really positive for them because they know if players aren’t performing in the first team then the manager will give them an opportunity.”
Click here to watch the full interview on Forest Player.