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Philippe targets Preston reaction

13 December 2016

Nottingham Forest head coach Philippe Montanier is looking for a reaction from his players when Preston North End are the visitors to The City Ground on Wednesday.

The Reds lost 3-0 to Derby on Sunday in the East Midlands derby and Montanier is keen for his players to bounce back and put a performance on for the fans.

He said: “It was very tough and we were very angry with ourselves as we went missing in the second half. The defeat is part of the sport but sometimes, like the game against Reading when you lose but you play a good game with a lot of chances to score and you are unlucky, but that was not the same in the second half as, during a derby game especially, you have to play well.

“The response is most important. We cannot change the result, it was difficult to accept but now it is in the past and the future is Preston and we have to show a good reaction.

“It is better to play quickly, even if you have one day less to recover than your opponent, as it is better to have no time to think and to just focus on the next game. Preston play with high intensity and they are a good team. There are no easy games in the Championship and Preston attack quickly, are good in the box and it is not the perfect game to play after Derby but a good chance to respond.”

Henri Lansbury was injured in the warm-up on Sunday and is likely to be out for a few weeks as he recovers, while Wednesday will also be too soon for Britt Assombalonga to return. But Montanier believes it provides an opportunity for others to step up and stake their claim for starting spots.

He said: “Normally, with this injury, Henri will be out for a few weeks. It was curious as he didn’t have a pain during the week, only in the warm-up and he had a little tension in his hamstring. Normally he will be out for a few weeks. 

“Britt is better but he is not ready for the game and perhaps for Saturday too. They are important players but you have to manage the game without the captain and goalscorer, but it is an opportunity for the other players to show that we have a good squad.

“You always have injuries in every team, it is a problem that we have that it is our key players or players in the same positions. If I have the answer I will find the solution to the problem but so far it has been a handicap to me and the team and we must adapt to the situation.

“We have three games during this week and we will see which players are in form as some are a little tired. We will see tomorrow but it is not a problem for me if we have to change two or three players to be fresh and also to be better. We have a good bench and good substitutes to help the team.”

Montanier feels that Wednesday night provides a good opportunity to return to winning ways, with Forest coming out on top in three of the past four matches.

He said: “If you lose one game out of four and have three victories it is good, but you have to prove it in the next game. Lansbury will not be with us but it is a good chance for others to play and show we have a good squad.

“We cannot delete the last game but we can show that we have a good reaction and the second half was an accident. We have to prove that as it is easy to speak but we need to show it on the pitch. Preston is a tough opponent but we have to show that we can play to a high level.”

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