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Andy Cook pre-Middlesbrough

24 January 2020

Andy Cook and the rest of his Nottingham Forest side are hoping this Sunday’s trip to Middlesbrough won’t be in vain, again after last week’s originally scheduled game against the North-East side was postponed 30 minutes before kick-off.

Looking ahead to the game Cook said: “I think the most frustrating thing was the fact we got all the way up to Middlesbrough and then the game got called off. 

“But that’s just the way football is and we’ve got to deal with it. 

“We still managed to get something from it with a training session on the pitch instead and we did what we needed to do.

‪Sunday will be the third time the two sides have met this season and after already played out the two league fixtures both teams meet in the quarter-finals of the FA Women’s National League Plate. 

The sides most recently met two weeks ago at Eastwood CFC where The Reds ran out 1-0 winners and Cook is expecting another tough tie against ‘Boro. 

‪He said: “Having played Middlesbrough at the weekend we know that Sunday will be another tough test against them.

‪”I imagine they’ll play slightly different as this time they’re at home but we’re ready for it.

‪”We’ve prepared well so hopefully it’s a similar performance as last week for ourselves.”

‪With the sides having already met twice this season The Reds are fully aware of the talent their opposition possess but Cook insists that the pre-match preparation is all on his side.

‪“We know what they’re about and equally they know what we’re about. But we can only do what we can and do our best,” he explained.

‪“We’ve got a fit squad so we won’t be changing a great deal from last week.

‪“We could know everything about them but it’s making sure we’re right this week, and working hard in training.”

‪Forest have took to the field twice during 2020 and have only found the back of the net twice and Cook is hoping his side can be more clinical in front of goal at the weekend.

‪He said: “We need more goals and that’s something we’ve spoke about.

‪“We need to finish better and get in more positions to create them opportunities.

‪“It’s something we’ve been working on continuously but if we carry on scoring in every game we’re there or there about.

‪“But we need to make sure we’re also doing the work at the other end because if we keep clean sheets then we won’t lose the game.”

‪The side have been hit with injuries to key players at the start of the new year but Cook explains that Sunday’s starting 11 will be the ‘strongest’ possible one he can field.

‪Cook said: “I’ll be putting out the strongest starting 11 I can do for the game.

‪“We’ve been on a good run, yes the result was an upset in the FA Cup but we thought we we’re unfortunate in that game considering our performance.

‪“We might make one or two like-for-like rotations as our team are talented enough for that but we’re looking pretty strong and settled.”

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