Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper says Wednesday’s visit to Manchester City is “one of the biggest challenges in world club football”.
Three days after hosting Spurs at the City Ground, Cooper takes his side to the Etihad Stadium to take on the defending champions in a grueling baptism of fire on their return to the top flight.
City looked susceptible this season, conceding two goals difference against Newcastle and Crystal Palace, but Erling Haaland’s scoring prowess has rescued them.
Cooper has no doubts how tough the experience will be.
“I think it will be a different game than the Spurs game,” he said. “We are really looking forward to going to Man City, it is one of the biggest challenges in world club football, there is no doubt about that.
“But this is why we want to be in the Premier League, this is what we want to be a part of. We have to go in there hopefully with the right plan and supporting the players to do the best we can on the night.
“If we do that and we can give a good account of ourselves, our goal is to be the best version of ourselves, and if we can do that, we’ll see where it takes us.
“That’s why we have to really believe in ourselves. You have to go into these games thinking you can be successful and that’s what we’re going to do.
“Harry Kane on Sunday and Haaland tomorrow, two world-class strikers and scorers. That’s why you want to be in this league, you’re up against the best players in the world. City not only have Haaland, they have several players.
“This is what we wanted, this is why we worked as hard as we did last season.”
Forest made Renan Lodi their 18th summer signing on Monday when he arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid with the option of a permanent move.
With 48 hours remaining in the transfer window, Cooper says there is a chance for more arrivals.
“We could be reaching the deadline,” he said. “We could bring more players, we could see more players leaving and we may not bring any players, so anything could happen.
“Although we constantly have good communication with the front office and the owners, this week with three games is taking up enough time.
“Since it’s the day before the game, that’s what I’m focusing on and if anything has happened that we’d like to do, I’m sure the guys would let me know.”
Orel Mangala, Moussa Niakhate (both hamstrings) and Omar Richards (leg) all miss out, while Cooper was coy about whether Lodi would be involved.