Manager of the month Sabri Lamouchi on whether now is a good time for Nottingham Forest to face Leeds United
NOTTINGHAM FOREST boss Sabri Lamouchi is reading little into Leeds United’s recent form and feels the Whites will be “tough to beat” in Saturday evening’s crunch clash at the City Ground.
Leeds approach the contest having seen what was an 11-point cushion in the Championship’s automatic promotion spots in December slashed to just three points by a run of just two wins, three draws and four defeats from their last nine games.
Forest have taken 17 points in that same period - the joint-best in that time-frame alongside fifth-placed Brentford - with Lamouchi’s side now only four points adrift of Leeds in fourth although blowing the chance to cut the gap to just a point in last weekend’s 2-1 loss at Birmingham City.
Lamouchi, though, remains full of respect for Marcelo Bielsa’s second-placed side with the Forest boss expecting a stern test whether his men come up against new recruit Jean-Kevin Augustin or as is more likely Patrick Bamford in the lone striker role.
Two draws and three wins in January saw Lamouchi named the Championship manager of the month for January.
“I was very upset and very angry with the result at Birmingham but now it’s done,” Frenchman Lamouchi told Nottingham Forest’s official website.
“We have spent this week working out why it happened and preparing for the next game because we face one of the biggest clubs in the Championship and one of the best teams in the league - it’s a very important game for both teams. We just need to focus on our performance.
“We’re playing a good team in front of a sold-out City Ground so we need to concentrate on all of the small details because if we don’t, Leeds have the quality and the ability to punish us.
“They’re a dangerous team both at home and away and whether they play Bamford or Augustin up front, we know they will be tough to beat.
“I know Leeds have lost quite a few points in recent matches but I’m not sure whether it is a good time to play them or not.
“It is always tough to play Leeds because they are such an excellent side but we are all looking forward to playing such a big game in front of a full City Ground.”