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A physical contest

11 January 2016

Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman has told supporters to expect a ‘very physical game’ against Birmingham City tomorrow night.

The Reds host the Blues as Freedman’s men look to close the gap on Gary Rowett’s play-off chasing side.

And the Forest boss envisages a battle under the City Ground lights.

Freedman said: "Birmingham will be a tough match. You’ll see a very physical game tomorrow night.

"They’re a well-organised side who play very direct. We need to make sure we’re in the right areas to pick up the second balls and, when we do, we have to punish them by creating opportunities.”

The manager, who is waiting on the results of Henri Lansbury’s scan to ascertain the extent of the midfielder’s ankle ligament damage, is in confident mood ahead of the second of three consecutive home matches.

Freedman’s side have won five of their last six at The City Ground and haven’t tasted defeat there in eight games.

And he believes opponents are beginning to fear away matches on Trentside.

Freedman said: "I think teams are now coming here thinking they need to be careful of our attacking threat. We can attack in many different ways. We can play good football, open teams up out wide and get good crosses in, but we’ve also got the likes of Dexter or Chris O’Grady who can help us play a little more direct.

"We need to remember we’re in the Championship. It’s OK saying you want to play fancy football but having different ways of scoring goals will certainly help us.

"Fulham found it very hard to deal with our physicality, Derby found it very hard to deal with our counter-attacking. From a coach’s point of view it’s very nice to see that happening."

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