Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton said there is still a special feeling about the FA Cup as The Reds get their campaign underway against Cardiff City.
Forest enter at the third-round stage and face fellow Championship side Cardiff, with Hughton having special memories of the competition as a player having lifted the trophy on two occasions and reaching the semi-final as a manager.
Cardiff will pose a tough test for The Reds with Hughton expecting a full-strength Bluebirds side at The City Ground on Saturday lunchtime.
He said: “This competition has a special place for me, as a player, a coach and as a manager. The feel of the cup is always there, we all know the circumstances this season are very different to other seasons because of no supporters and a different general feel, but whenever the FA Cup comes around there is that little spark and that is through everybody.
“For them, I think they will want to get back to winning ways. I don’t know what team they will put out but my thoughts are that they will go strong. They had their last league game that was called off so I anticipate they will go strong.
“We are probably, with regards to form, going into it a bit different, but we all know that in one-off games that can go quickly out of the window. We have a strong reason for wanting to win the game and so have they.”
The Reds have shown an improvement in results in recent weeks, clocking up five games unbeaten in the league, and Hughton feels that having a full week on the training ground can only help his team to continue to grow.
He said: “I think we are improving, the results say that and there are certainly some areas that we can still do better. That is why we work as hard as we do in the periods of time that we can.
“Training has been generally limited, it has been a good week this week because we have had no midweek game, that always helps, as will next week going into the Millwall game. There are some improvements but we continue to work.”