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A test of endurance

18 September 2015

Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman says he wants to make Saturday’s match against Middlesbrough ‘an endurance game’.

The Reds welcome Boro to The City Ground for a 12.30pm kick-off, when both teams will hope to continue their strong recent form.

And Freedman is prepared for a different kind of challenge to the ones posed by QPR and Birmingham recently.

He told Forest Player HD: “This will be a different test for us. Middlesbrough are a settled side, which is important, with a manager who has been there a few years and understands his players.

“It’s going to be very, very difficult for us – it’ll be the toughest test so far this season.

“They are a team that will come out very early. They try and take you apart in the first 10-15 minutes. I’m going to try and make it an endurance game. We’ve got to make sure we’re in the game as long as possible.

“Saying that, we need to go into this game with confidence because of the two wins. It’s a game I believe, if we set up right and show the right attitude, we can win.”

Jamie Ward played a key role in Forest’s victory over Birmingham on Tuesday night, setting up Dexter Blackstock to score the winning goal before being substituted.

It was Ward’s first run out after an injury lay-off and it came after the Northern Ireland international had little opportunity to train.

The manager said: “We needed him, it’s as simple as that. I told him he had to put his body on the line for the football club, which he did.

“It got to the 60th minute and he was very tired. I knew if I wanted to get anything out of him tomorrow I’d have to take him off.

“So he’s ready to go, fitter than he was on Monday.”

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