Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper said Wednesday’s visit to Manchester City was “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 face the defending champions in a tough baptism of fire on their return to the top flight.
City have looked sensitive this season, conceding two-goal deficits at Newcastle and Crystal Palace, but Erling Haaland’s scoring power saved them.
Cooper has no doubt it will be a difficult experience.
“I think it will be a different game to the Spurs game,” he said.
“We’re really looking forward to going to Man City, it’s one of the biggest challenges in world club football, there’s no doubt about it.
“But that’s why we want to be in the Premier League, that’s what we want to be a part of. We have to go there hopefully with the right plan and help the players perform at their best on the night.
“If we do it and we can realize – we aim to be the best version of ourselves – and if we can do it, we will see where it takes us.
“That’s why we have to really believe in ourselves. You have to go into these games thinking that you can pull it off and that’s what we’re going to do.
“Harry Kane on Sunday and Haaland tomorrow, two world-class forwards and scorers. That’s why you want to be in this league, you come up against the best players in the world. City don’t just have Haaland, they have a number of players.
“That’s what we wanted, that’s why we worked as hard as we did last season.”
Forest made Renan Lodi their 18th summer signing on Monday when he was loaned out by Atletico Madrid with the option of a permanent transfer.
At 48 hours from the transfer window, Cooper says there is a possibility of additional arrivals.
“We could go all the way to the deadline,” he said. “We might bring in more players, we might see more players come out and we might bring in no players, so anything could happen.
“While we constantly have good communication with the board and the property, this week with three games, it takes up enough of our time.
“As it’s the day before the game, that’s what I’m focusing on and if there’s anything that happened that we’d like to do, I’m sure the guys will let me know.”
Orel Mangala, Moussa Niakhate (both hamstring) and Omar Richards (leg) are all out, while Cooper was hesitant whether Lodi would be involved.