NOTTINGHAM Forest head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has told his players to block out the “noise” surrounding their situation as they battle for Premier League survival.

Forest have failed to win in the league since beating Manchester United 2-1 at the City Ground at the end of December, two defeats and a draw leaving them just two points above the relegation zone.

Their resources have also been drained by having to play more FA Cup ties than league games in that period, with replays required to get past both Blackpool and Bristol City in the third and fourth rounds respectively.

Nuno hopes that success in the cup can translate into better results in the Premier League as Forest look to complete the double over Newcastle following a 3-1 win at St James’ Park on Boxing Day.

“It feels so good to play here at our home and I think going through in the FA Cup can give us momentum once again,” he said.

“The fans were extraordinary with us, the support, the noise, so we expect tomorrow again this fantastic atmosphere. The home factor is very important in the Premier League.

“(We must) play the game and this is what we have been doing, playing the game, ignoring all the noise and focusing on our tasks.

“The game has many aspects. We must realise we will face a very good team, good players, good manager. Then we will play the game. There are a lot of aspects we can take advantage of.

“We can’t ignore we are playing a team with talent, physicality and intensity. You can never reduce the plan to individual players. It’s about the team, about how we can produce the game we want.”


Forest will be without defender Gonzalo Montiel after he was forced off in the final minutes of the FA Cup win over Bristol City with a hamstring injury, while Morgan Gibbs-White faces a late fitness test.

January signings Matz Sels, Gio Reyna and Rodrigo Ribeiro were ineligible against the Robins, while midfielders Ryan Yates and Nicolas Dominguez were suspended.

The quintet are all available for Saturday but Forest remain without Nigeria’s Ola Aina and the Ivory Coast duo of Ibrahim Sangare and Willy Boly, who will be bidding to win the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday.

“A lot of issues since we arrive, players absent with injuries, the AFCON situation, a lot of players involved, but that is almost over and for sure we’re going to have an AFCON champion from Forest,” Nuno added.