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Hughton predicting tough Barnsley battle

19 November 2020

Chris Hughton may not have been in charge for Nottingham Forest's previous two trips to Barnsley but the boss knows exactly what his side will face when they travel to Oakwell this weekend.

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21 November 2020

The Reds return to action in high spirits following their consecutive victories over Coventry and Wycombe but Hughton knows his men are in for a tricky encounter against a Barnsley side who have won three of their last four games including victories against QPR, Watford and Derby.

He said: "I'm expecting a tough game. What I have learnt so far this season is, perhaps more than in any other season, is the unpredictability of this division. It's very difficult to call results because anybody can beat anybody so it will be a tough game.

"Barnsley have been in good form and they're playing in a way which suits the players they've got. They're very effective in the way they play and the results they've picked up in recent weeks mean that it's a very difficult game for us. We'll approach it in the same way we do every other game and go there looking for all three points.

"The seven games so far have been mostly good. Some aspects I have been really pleased with but we could have turned one of the draws, against Rotherham, into a win and those extra points would have put us in a stronger position. I can't fault the endeavour of the players and what they've given so far and I think one loss in seven games is a decent return."

The two-week international break has given Hughton and his players the opportunity to take stock of their league position and recent performances but perhaps more importantly, the Forest boss says it has given them the chance to get some rest and recovery time before a hectic schedule of nine games in 29 days.

He said: "It has been a useful time as regards to working with the players who we've still had here but also we have been able to give everybody that recovery time that they need, both players and staff. The hardest part when the games come so thick and fast is that you don't get the adequate time to prepare, play the game and then reflect on areas where you need to improve.

"What you find yourself doing is just moving on to the next game and not giving yourself that time to evaluate what you did well and what you didn't do quite so well. However, that situation is the same for every team in the division so you have to give it your best shot and try and cope with it.

"The international break for us was a balance between some good training days where we got through some specific work that we wanted to do but also bringing some of the players' workloads down and giving them some time off. It is such a varied group because we've had some players who have played all of the last seven games and some who have only played half so it is down to us as the coaching staff to get those balances right."

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