Philippe Montanier feels really hard done by in terms of the injury situation ahead of the trip to St James Park on Friday night.
The Nottingham Forest boss says ‘I am not greedy’ and would just love to play the same team a couple of times in a row.
Forest’s latest defeat (at Huddersfield) not only brought further injuries but also an 89th minute red card and suspension for key former Chelsea and Hamburg defender Michael Mancienne.
The local Nottingham media reported that Philippe Montanier could be missing around 11 first team squad players and the Forest Manager says ‘If I could have 80 per cent of my squad it would be good, Always you have injuries..’.
Montanier adding that ‘To have eight or 10 all the time is not normal’, with the situation ahead of Friday looking even worse than that.
The visiting manager thinks it will be ‘difficult to get a result’ unless they have ‘a balance between a defensive mentality and managing the ball well’. Also acknowledging that ‘Newcastle are a tough team, especially at home’.
Rafa Benitez has talked after Sheffield Wednesday about the need to see out matches for a goalless draw if things aren’t going well but certainly this Forest match can’t fall under that remit.
If there was ever a game for Newcastle to tear into the opposition and try to overwhelm them from the first whistle, it must surely be this one. The sense of injustice from four weeks ago and with Forest missing so many key players, including out friend and Forest Captain Henri Lansbury, this is a game where Newcastle’s players need to really take advantage.
“It is very frustrating as I would like to have 80 per cent of my squad to see our level and to continue with the same eleven. I am not greedy, I just want two or three games with the same line-up and the key players together.
“If I could have 80 per cent of my squad it would be good. Always you have injuries – one, two or three and sometimes it is exceptional to have no injuries or eight or 10 injuries.
“It is not normal to have eight or 10 all the time.
“Every game is different but Newcastle are a tough team, especially at home.
“It is a nice stadium with a good atmosphere so it is a good challenge.
“We need to be strong defensively as if you leave a lot of space they have good attackers.
“But we need to take our chances too and attack quickly and find a balance between a defensive mentality and managing the ball well. If we don’t do that it will be difficult to get a result.
“You have to plan especially when you have a lot of injured players. Some players can recover and some can play three consecutive games. It is difficult as there are a lot of injuries and the squad is short to manage three games in the same week.”