Storied side Nottingham Forest side make their first visit to Eastlands as they face Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup. Following Manchester City’s Carling Cup disaster losing to Brighton and Hove Albion, Mark Hughes is most likely to come out with both guns blazing and use his top shelf squadron.
Going straight to the point, the manager said:
“It’s such a prestigious competition, and the third round is one of the great dates in the football calendar. Because of that, I think it needs to be shown respect and that is what we will do.
“You don’t want to go out in the early rounds, and we have already had an example of that this season. That night we made changes hoping to protect some players, and you can come unstuck when you do that.
“The FA Cup is a competition that seems to have featured a lot in my career, both as a player and as a manager. It is a competition I have great respect for, I always try to show it the respect it deserves by going into every game with as strong a side as you can.
“The mentality of players is possibly a bit different now. I know that when I was young, if asked why I wanted to be a footballer the answer was to play for your country and win the FA Cup. That may well have changed in this modern era, but it is still a fantastic competition. The thought of going out at Wembley on that invariably warm day in May at Wembley is still an attractive one.
I have always felt that cup runs help your league form. Doing well in a cup competition gives you a boost going into a league game, you’ll be confident so for me it’s not a hindrance.”
Nottingham Forest’s new manager Billy Davies will be watching from the stands before taking over the reigns. He said of the match:
“The expectation levels are not high, but we will have the energy and ability to go and put on a performance. It’s a cup tie and an occasion to be viewed as a great challenge.”
For the match Man City is without Nedum Onuoha and Stephen Ireland is questionable but are very likely to employ the best possible eleven as they look to make a definitive statement to home supporters in the first match of the new year.