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We must be strong

13 January 2017

Nottingham Forest head coach Philippe Montanier says his team must be strong and bounce back from the defeat against Wigan when they take on Birmingham tomorrow.

The Reds suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of The Latics in the Emirates FA Cup and Montanier hopes to see a reaction from his team at St Andrew’s.

He said: “It was tough after last week as we do not like to lose and to play a poor match like that. But on Monday and Tuesday the squad recovered its energy and focus for the next game as we cannot change the last game, we just analysed it and worked on improving. 

“Birmingham are a good team and difficult to play at home. Every team in the Championship is specific and difficult to play against. I have a great respect for Zola but we have to react because everybody was angry about our performance at Wigan. To be angry is one thing but to show a reaction on the pitch is another and we need to show a better level. 

They are going to play well as they are a good team and tactically they play with possession and have a good technical level. They can attack quickly so we must be focused defensively but we have some good offensive tools of our own to make the difference.”

There is some good news on the injury front as Dani Pinillos and David Vaughan will both be part of the squad for the trip to the West Midlands, while Ben Brereton and Toby Edser will also travel.

Montanier said: “Dani Pinillos will be in the squad for the game against Birmingham. He is an option and for him it is not easy with no competition for two months but I think he can help the team. David Vaughan is back too and Pajtim is injured for this game.

“Ben Brereton and Toby Edser will come with us as part of the squad to Birmingham too. I try to manage the young players as they are under 18 and it is important to work with the first team and perhaps get some game time. It is a good opportunity to see what happens before and during the game to learn the preparation and to also improve their level. 

“It is too soon for Ben to start. I was not satisfied with the result last week but especially offensively. Before, we could create a lot of opportunities to score but not in the last game, so I think with his qualities he can help, not from the start but during the game. 

“It is always positive when the younger players come into the squad. There is no pressure on them but we have to manage them for the future of Forest. It is not an easy context for them to enter the first team.”

Speculation continues about Montanier’s future at the club, but he is focused on football and ensuring his players are continuing to fight for the club. 

He said: “It is not a problem for me, the focus is on Birmingham not on the rest. It is part of the job. I had a similar situation in Spain and I stayed for two seasons. When you don’t have a good position in the rank the position of the manager is not always comfortable and there will be rumours. 

“I like my job and I like the club and my squad. The most important thing is to prepare the squad and to win the next game. The rest is part of the job but it is not the most important for me. It is not in my character to complain; I concentrate on what I have rather than what I don’t. When it is difficult you need to be stronger.”

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