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Relish the challenge

20 February 2020

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Nottingham Forest head coach Sabri Lamouchi wants his side to relish the pressure they face in the Championship run-in as they welcome QPR to The City Ground on Saturday.

Forest are in the hunt for promotion and Lamouchi knows that his side must keep believing in themselves to keep in the race for the top six and the top two.

He said: “The pressure for the players has been there from the beginning. Nobody knew the manager, so they must start well. Nobody expected us to be at this level but for me, we have to increase the belief from my players first, from the people at the club and the fans.

“It will be full, sold out again and I want to increase the belief because we are talking about the team spirit from the beginning. Yes, this is true and I have a fantastic dressing room and a fantastic squad, but I don’t think it is just this.

“Some players from Nottingham Forest can play in each team in the Championship; we have probably the best goalkeeper and best right back in the league, Watson is crucial for us like Phillips is crucial for Leeds. We have key players like Grabban, of course. He didn’t score for three or four games but he is so important and will be important at the end. Joe Lolley is doing a great job, and Sammy Ameobi as well.

“We just need to enjoy it and focus on exactly what we need to do for the victory because we want to stay in the race and stay up there. There is pressure, of course, but the pressure is good when you are up.”

Forest defeated QPR 4-0 earlier in the season but Lamouchi knows it will not be easy to gain a victory against Mark Warburton’s side.

“It is going to be a tough game,” he said. “The first one in London was not so easy, the result was big but with one player less and some luck, it was a great result at the end.

“The way they play is good, a very good dynamic. They have one of the best attacks in the league, but also one of the worst defences in the league so they will play, home or away, with the same dynamic.

“Their manager is experienced and clear in his mind what he wants on the pitch from his players, so we will face a good team. It is always like this at The City Ground, for us.”

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