Stuart Pearce has urged his Nottingham Forest side that they need to ‘score first’ against Millwall to have any hope of picking up all three points at the City Ground.
Forest will be going into this weekend’s game against the Lions looking to bounce back from their 3-2 defeat to Fulham nine days ago.
A first half hat-trick from Ross McCormack gave the Lily Whites a comfortable advantage and despite an Henri Lansbury brace in the second half for Forest, their woeful defending in the first 37 minutes of the game had already done the damage.
The poor result had came just a week after the club’s 2-1 victory over local rivals Derby courtesy of a last gasp goal from Ben Osborn.
However, Reds boss Stuart Pearce will be looking for solidarity and consistency as the recent Fulham fixture was the 15th time the Reds had let the opposition score first.
Pearce insists that Forest must give themselves a ‘better start’ in games in order to give them any chance of securing all three points against a struggling Lions side under the management of Ian Holloway.
He said: “We have to get our noses in front.
“We have a block of matches against teams who are below us and we need to improve our form.”
Forest will hope to produce such form against Millwall, a side that find themselves third from bottom in the league and five points from safety.
Millwall haven’t won in six and that form has seen them spiral down towards the bottom end of the Championship table.
The Lions played on Tuesday, January 27 and could only draw to fellow league strugglers Reading, however, Holloway maintains that the result is something to be positive about going into the weekend and the future.
He said: “It certainly gives us a solid base to work from over the next 19 games and each and every one of those is a Cup Final for us.”
Forest have been boosted by the news that Matty Fryatt will return to the squad for Millwall’s visit tomorrow after overcoming a knock he picked up in December.
Also fellow striker Dexter Blackstock is also close to making a return to full fitness after being struck down by a string of injuries which have prevented him from cementing his place in the Forest starting line-up.
Meanwhile Millwall will be without Sid Nelson through suspension and loanee left-back Dan Harding is unable to play against his parent club.