Nottingham Forest Under 18s assistant coach Gareth Holmes says the club’s FA Youth Cup squad has the character and ability to go ‘toe-to-toe’ with Liverpool.
Thursday’s fifth-round tie sees the Merseysiders head to The City Ground (kick-off 7pm) as both clubs look to progress to the quarter-finals.
And, while Holmes recognises the threat posed by their Premier League opponents, he says the players will be instructed to go out and play with confidence.
The coach told Forest Player HD: “We want the boys to go into the match thinking ‘This is Liverpool Football Club, these are the teams and players we want to be playing against if we’re going to have a career in the game.’
“We’re confident we’ve got boys who can stand up to that challenge and say ‘OK, you’re Liverpool, but we’re Nottingham Forest and we’re going to go toe-to-toe with you.’
“We’ve watched Liverpool on numerous occasions. We’re expecting them to be technically proficient but we know the strengths we’ve got at this club.
“When you face opponents such as Liverpool it’s important to be respectful but also confident in what you’re good at.”
Holmes also acknowledges the historical significance of the fixture.
He said: “When Liverpool play against Nottingham Forest it’s going to be a big game, whether that’s at youth or first-team level.
“I’d really encourage the fans to come down, get behind the boys and be part of that atmosphere. Hopefully the boys will go and do the football club proud.
“It’s going to be a great night.”
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