Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman says his players will have to deal with a weight of expectancy when they take on Huddersfield this weekend.The Reds will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run and pick up their fifth consecutive league clean sheet with victory over the Terriers tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
And Freedman believes the team’s recent good form brings a type of pressure to the table.
The manager told Forest Player HD: “It’s going to be a difficult game for us. We’re going into a situation where we are now expected to win, which has probably never happened to us this year.
“We’re expected to beat Huddersfield but that’s certainly not the mindset I have. I’m treating this game with as much importance as I did the Middlesbrough away game, in terms of how much work we’ve done on them.
“They’ve got a new manager in there with a new philosophy and they’re all buying into it. The last three or four results haven’t gone their way but they’ve certainly been very close games.
“I need to make sure they worry about us and understand we’re a team in form.”
Freedman had positive news to report on Henri Lansbury, who doesn’t need surgery on his ankle injury, while he also revealed that Matty Fryatt and Britt Assombalonga continue to take positive steps towards a return before the end of the season.
And the manager believes those players could provide a timely boost in the club’s late push for a play-off place – a target not yet beyond reach.
He said: “We’ve had a lot of setbacks, which has given us this gap of eight points right now, and I’m just hoping we don’t run out of games.
“Any more setbacks will be difficult - suspensions or injuries – but if we have a clean bill of health, we continue believing in what we’re doing and everybody stays positive, I say why not?
“My teams always finish strongly and I’m looking forward to the next seven or eight games to see if we can maintain that. If we can, and go maybe four or five points closer, with the extra help from maybe Matty, Britt and Henri, then we’ll have a big push.”