Burton Albion play Nottingham Forest tonight in their first ever League Cup Fourth Round match, and have the chance to make history by progressing to the Quarter Finals if they beat Aitor Karanka’s side.
Despite already putting in their best performance in the trophy so far and with a potential Quarter Final around the corner, Brewers manager Nigel Clough wants to remain grounded.
“Don’t get carried away with that,” Clough told the Derbyshire Telegraph.
“We are just aware, if we do get through, the size of the teams that are left in.
“Plenty of the top 12 in the Premier League are left in.
“But we’ve got to get through this one, and this will be as hard as any game we’ve had so far this season.
The Brewers were beaten 2-1 at the weekend by high flying Peterborough United. However, Clough remains confident that his side are playing good football and can go into tonight’s match feeling confident.
“Even with defeat on Saturday to Peterborough United, I still think we are playing well. It’s just ironing out those little things that are costing us goals and costing us games.
“We had it 12 years ago when we had the Manchester United game, because our cup game was postponed, playing Burscough at home.
“It was just a normal FA Cup second-round game, then we were postponed, the draw was made and it was Manchester United – you know what could be around the corner in the next round.
“I don’t know if we can enjoy it (the Forest clash) as much. I want the players to go out and enjoy it, and play and express themselves as they have done so far this season.”
The Albion manager believes that Nottingham Forest are a club heading in the right direction, and thinks they will be amongst the chasing pack as a selection of Championship sides look set to fight for the three promotion places to the Premier League.
“It’s massive changes, but from the outside, that’s all I can go off,” he said when asked about how his former club have changed.
“I think it’s a completely different club, even in the last two years, it has changed, with the new owners coming in, the investment that has been made in the club and on players and staff. I think they are geared up now to get back into the Premier League.
“But I think there are so many clubs like them in the Championship at the moment who are trying to do exactly the same.
“Leeds United are in exactly the same position, they’ve invested and are looking to get back in there, Middlesbrough the same, Derby County. There’s quite a few clubs in the Championship, and of course there’s only three of them can go up.”
Clough went on to add that his connections to Nottingham Forest through his father Brian make the clash more special than the average game.
“That’s it, with the connections, it does make it an extra-special game. It’s a big one anyway for the club, getting to this point for the first time in its history.
“It’s big anyway, but any time that Forest come to town, it is a bit more special.”