DOUGIE Freedman insists his side are strong enough to cope with the mounting pressures of performing at home.
A midweek cup win over Bury did not go as smoothly as planned and at times supporters showed their displeasure with a disappointing performance.
Nevertheless, Freedman believes his current squad are mentally prepared to cope with the expectation levels – and is looking for an improvement on last season’s haul of just six wins on home soil.
Asked about the mixed reception his side had been given on Tuesday night, the manager was pleased with his players’ response.
“That’s football, it’s why people come and pay their money,” he said.
“At half time the Bury fans were celebrating like they’d won the game. But that’s not how the game works.
“I’ve got a group of players who won’t lie down, and I’m the same. I won’t just take bad results.
“On Tuesday I went in, exchanged some words with the players, and I think we came out and showed a great energy.
“And great credit to our fans, they weren’t booing at 80 minutes, 88, 89, they stayed with us. And then we got the penalty to give them something to cheer about. That’s the difference with this group of players.”
Freedman will run a check on Dean Moxey’s bruised foot before deciding whether to put him in against Forest but is once again likely to be without Mark Davies.
After making nine changes to his side in midweek – compared to just four made by his opposite number Stuart Pearce in Forest’s win at Tranmere – Freedman is counting on his side feeling no ill effects from extra time in the Capital One Cup.
“I’m looking forward to the Forest game,” he said. “We gave one or two youngsters a game on Tuesday night and I thought Conor Wilkinson was fantastic. For a young kid making his debut I thought he held it up well.
“Young Oscar Threlkeld was very good too – especially his strength to keep on going.
“I made the changes knowing I could go into Saturday with fresher legs and that’s what I’ll aim to do.”