Philippe Montanier says the Nottingham Forest players and staff are all looking forward to Friday night’s game against Birmingham City.
The Reds return from the two-week international break with an important home game against Gary Rowett’s side and Montanier says the increased time on the training ground has been extremely useful for both him and the players.
Speaking ahead of the game he said: “We’ve worked over the international break across all areas, defensively, offensively and team co-ordination. The players are in good spirits, there’s a good atmosphere and we’re looking forward to Friday’s game.
“Birmingham are a strong, physical and experienced team who are on a good run of form at the moment. They’ve built a team on a solid defensive foundation but they also attack very well so we know it’ll be a difficult match for us.
“We’re hoping to have Damien Perquis and Michael Mancienne back fit for the game as they have both recovered well. Friday will come too soon for Britt Assombalonga and Daniel Pinillos but the good news is they’ve joined in full training now so should return to the side soon."
Montanier will watch the match from the stands at The City Ground as he serves the first of a two-game touchline ban but the Forest head coach believes his new vantage point could be used to benefit the team.
He said: “Watching from the stands will not be too bad and it will give me a different perspective on the game. We’re preparing the team well and I know that Serge Romano, my assistant, and the rest of the staff will do a good job on the touchline.
“I’m disappointed with the decision from the FA because I’m always very respectful towards the match officials but it is done now and we have to move on. All I can do is prepare the team to give their best and then watch the game.
“I’ve been really satisfied with the atmosphere in the squad. The players understand that we’ve had to, and will continue to, work hard to improve and that we need to start getting positive results."