Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman says he has been emphasising the importance of The Emirates FA Cup to the foreign members of his squad.Cape Verdean Ryan Mendes and Slovenian Bojan Jokic could get their first taste of the prestigious competition in tomorrow’s third-round clash with QPR, while the likes of Portuguese forward Nelson Oliveira and German midfielder Robert Tesche will be hoping to build on their minimal experience of the tournament.
And Freedman has been making a concerted effort to ensure his players understand what’s at stake at The City Ground tomorrow.
The manager said: “We’ve got a couple of foreign boys who don’t really understand what the FA Cup’s about so we had to tell them this morning. I gave them a presentation outlining what it means to this particular football club, what we’ve done in it and what we’ve not done in it – sometimes we’ve just missed out.
“There are no current pictures up here (at the training ground). I’m a big believer in if you’ve won a trophy, or had some sort of success, you go on the wall.
“Their colleagues will also tell them that there’s an end game here – Wembley.”
If Forest are to take their first step towards reaching that end game they’ll have to get past a side managed by former Reds coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
A debut goal from Oliveira sealed a dramatic victory for Freedman’s men when the two sides last met and, despite QPR’s managerial change, the boss believes his team can take much of what they learned at Loftus Road into tomorrow’s match.
Freedman said: “They’re still the same players and when players are put into a certain situation – if they’re pressured in a certain way - they’re going to go back to type. They can’t change their game.
“But from a structure point of view, Jimmy’s got them playing a little more direct. They don’t play through midfield as much as they did under Chris Ramsey so we need to be aware of that.
“It’ll be a difficult match – FA Cup, anything can happen. But we just feel we’re in a good place right now. There is good competition, everybody is desperate to play.”