LEEDS United manager Neil Redfearn believes today’s opponents are the epitome of what the Championship is all about.
Nottingham Forest started the season in scintillating form, remaining unbeaten for the first 11 games and being joint leaders until mid-October.
Since then, however, Stuart Pearce’s men have stumbled and host Leeds sitting in ninth place after taking just nine points from their last 10 outings.
Redfearn, who will be joined for the first time in the dugout today by new assistant Steve Thompson, said: “Forest looked like they were going to take the league by storm at the beginning.
“They were outstanding and they have got strength in depth. The squad is well balanced, they have got people who score goals and they are capable of taking sides to task.
“Forest have had a dip, but that is the nature of the division. Look at Derby. They all go through little spells where it is not so good. But Forest, on their own ground, is a tough proposition.
“As for ourselves, we are trying to show some consistency and so the level of performances is expected. It is getting to the point where it is a lot better than what it was, but it’s still a bit shy.
“We should have got a result against Fulham (last week when United lost 1-0).”
Leeds have lost their last two games, a poor way to follow what had been their best performance of the season in beating Derby 2-0 on November 29.
Redfearn added “The thing we’ve got right since I came in are the performances. They’ve got better and better, culminating in the performance and result against Derby.
“Ipswich, obviously, we didn’t play anywhere near like we can. We huffed and puffed against Fulham and, if I’m honest, if we’d won the game no one would have batted an eyelid.
“But it wasn’t us. We just ran out of steam a little bit and now we need to get our away performances up to a level where we are consistent and difficult to beat.
“We have got to change things round and we have been working on that.”