Norwich City boss Neil Adams aims to make sure Stuart Pearce is hurting this time around
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Neil Adams experienced Stuart Pearce's fearsome playing reputation at first-hand but the Norwich City boss aims to be the one inflicting the pain in Saturday's latest City Ground reunion.
Adams was a Wembley loser for Oldham against Pearce's Nottingham Forest in the 1990 League Cup final, but the Reds' glory days are a distant memory at present with the hosts looking for a first Championship win in 10 this afternoon.
Norwich's form line is only marginally better but Adams insists that will not foster an edge of desperation in the East Midlands.
'I wouldn't say desperation, given we are four points off the top. It is such a tight league but they are similar to ourselves at the moment,' he said. 'I can see the comparisons. It is a game with two teams who are coming off the back of bad midweek results and who will be really keen to win. You could ask is it a good or a bad time for us to go there now? For me, it just depends how we play. I feel it has to be better for us going there with them struggling than flying, but that will only be determined by our performance.
'It's a big game, of course, and you want to be going into the international break on a positive note. I am sure Forest will be saying the same thing. Both teams want to get back to where they feel they belong but we are just focusing on being positive and making sure we do everything we didn't on Tuesday.'
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Pearce's cult status did not insulate the Forest manager from a frustrated public after Brentford's 3-1 Championship win prolonged their miserable recent spell.
'We had them watched on Tuesday and the crowd was disappointed with them and the manner of their defeat, so there is pressure on them,' said Adams. 'Obviously I played against him a lot, with him being on the same flank, and the obvious memory is the League Cup when they beat us 1-0. We had some good tussles and everyone knows what he was about. He was a top player. I just want us to be more difficult to break down than we were at Middlesbrough and to dig out a performance.'
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Adams respects the latent threat posed by the likes of former Norwich City loan signing Henri Lansbury and ex-Peterborough striker Britt Assombalonga, who was left out against the Bees on Tuesday after a barren spell in front of goal.
'He is strong and powerful and they have a bit of pace in the team with him and (Michail) Antonio who can cause a threat,' said Adams. 'I remember watching Henri when he was here.
'He is a talented player who played a big part in what was a successful season for Norwich, a utility player who can play in between the lines or just off a striker. He is a big part of their game and one we have to keep an eye on.'