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Philippe prudent ahead of Newcastle

30 November 2016

Nottingham Forest head coach Philippe Montanier is not getting carried away after two away wins as he gets set to welcome Newcastle United to The City Ground on Friday.

Impressive displays in the 2-0 win at Ipswich and the 5-2 win over Barnsley have lifted The Reds up the Championship table, but Montanier feels it is important to be prudent as the league leaders visit Trentside.

He said: “I would like to be prudent. If you lose two or three games it is dangerous as you can move towards the bottom, but if you win three games you can reach the top 10. 

“We need a positive result on Friday and we can do it. You have to be clear and not panic when you have a bad result, and if you have positive results you also have to be clear and focus on the next game. We have been working hard and the results are always a consequence of that hard work.

“For me, Newcastle are the best team in the Championship. They have the best attack and one of the best defences. They have won a lot of games and are a good team with a good manager. It is a tough challenge but we are excited for it.

“It is always a good challenge when we have to play against the best teams. It was important to win the last two games to play against Newcastle with more confidence.”

Britt Assombalonga is set to return to the squad after missing out on last Friday’s win at Oakwell through injury, creating a selection headache for the Frenchman.

Montanier said: “Britt will be back. He has trained all this week with the group and is available to be part of the squad for Friday. We have all the strikers available but we still have Hildeberto suspended and Armand Traore and Eric Lichaj injured. 

“We have a lot of attackers but less full-backs so there is always a problem for the coach. It is important to have the best players available for this game and those after. We will see about Eric if he can be part of the squad.

“We cannot play with six or seven attackers, especially with our team as we need a good balance. It is a very nice problem; I prefer it than to look for options. It is important to have good players available not only in the 11, but in the whole 18.

“We start with 11 players and it is important to have the capacity to change things with the substitutes. After 60 minutes you know if you are losing or winning, when you change things the substitutes have to bring something. The more I have a good bench the easier it is to maintain a good result like against Barnsley, or to come back in a game. When Apostolos came off against Barnsley and Nicklas came on we maintained the same level.”

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