TONY Mowbray is braced for a “tough game” when Middlesbrough try to get back to winning ways at Nottingham Forest tonight.
Boro have failed to win in four npower Championship matches – a sequence of draws seeing Mowbray’s side drop out of the automatic promotion places, albeit on goal difference.
Just a couple of weeks ago, a trip to the City Ground would have looked like food and drink to an unbeaten Boro side, who have been in sensational form on the road this term.
Forest – one of only three sides in England without a home league win – have been wretched at the City Ground, scoring only five times in five fixtures and picking up two points out of a possible 15.
But how often do you see a new team lifted by the arrival of a new boss?
Forest have installed Steve Cotterill in the hot-seat following the resignation of former Boro and England boss Steve McClaren and Mowbray is aware of the difficulty of that scenario ahead of tonight’s bottom against top clash.
“I think Forest would have been in everyone’s top six equation having gone so close (to promotion) in the last couple of years,” said Mowbray.
“Sometimes, though, it is difficult to manage change, the change being a new manager in the summer.
“But basically they are the same squad they had before, they’ve had no real major outgoings or lost any talisman figures. I am sure Forest have the quality and talent to climb the league.
“It’s still relatively early in the season and the points gap between top and bottom is not that great.
“It is going to be a tough game – they have a new manager and the players will have got a lift from that.”
Meanwhile, Boro are expected to complete the signing of Nigerian forward Bartholomew Ogbeche today.
The 27-year-old former international has earned himself the offer of a short-term contract after impressing in training at Boro.