Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman says his side have worked harder than ever in their preparations for tomorrow’s visit of MK Dons.
The Reds could make it four home wins on the bounce with a victory over Karl Robinson’s side.
But Freedman is wary of the Dons’ ‘element of surprise’ – and has therefore put extra emphasis on match preparation this week.
The manager told Forest Player HD: “If you’re not prepared against an MK Dons side, you will be beaten. That’s key to the game.
“We’ve worked harder than we’ve probably ever worked on a game because I understand, while they may not be performing fantastically well week in, week out, they have that element of surprise which they showed on Tuesday night in beating Sheffield Wednesday.
“We need to understand where to press them, where to hold back and when to leave them on the ball and take advantage of the space that’s left.”
Forest have been in free-scoring form at The City Ground lately and Freedman is pleased to see goals coming from all over the field.
Equally pleasing has been his side’s recent resilience in defence – the result of another immense team effort, says the manager: “Everybody in this building needs to understand they are all responsible for attacking and defending – I’ve made that very clear.
“We’ve seen defenders chipping in with goals and we’ve also seen players like Jamie Ward, Ryan Mendes and Nelson Oliveira working very hard and unselfishly for the team.
“I’ve got to put it down to a lot of hard work from the players day in, day out.”