Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce believes his squad is the “strongest and fittest” it’s been all season ahead of Saturday’s game at Sheffield Wednesday.
Pearce made seven changes to his side in the Capital One Cup win at Huddersfield on Tuesday night
and saluted those who slotted into the side at The John Smith's Stadium.
Speaking to Forest Player, he said: “One or two individuals who have not played a lot of first team football this year came in and contributed really well and have given me something to think about for my next team selection.
“At this moment in time I’ve got the strongest and fittest squad that I’ve had all season. It puts me under pressure as a manger for team selection and the players themselves have to put pressure on each other to fight for a place within the team.”
Pearce is well aware of the threat Sheffield Wednesday will pose on Saturday and believes it will be the hardest match of the campaign so far.
He said: “It will be the toughest game of our season. They’ve started fantastically well and have got a really defined playing style – they go from back to front very quickly with a big centre forward.
“Stuart Gray has done really well and it will be our toughest task but the challenge for us as a football club is to go there and maintain the league position we’ve got.”
Michail Antonio and Eric Lichaj both picked up knocks in Tuesday night’s game, but Pearce is hopeful he’ll be able to call on their services on Saturday.
He said: “We’re hoping both of them will be fit for Saturday. If they’re not fully fit they won’t contribute.
"I always feel at any football club there’s enough competition for places not to put semi-fit footballers out on the pitch but we feel Michail should be fine and the only slight doubt is with Eric.”