Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper said on Monday that his team will attack Manchester United in this week’s League Cup semi-final.
Cooper’s team host United in the first leg on Wednesday and then travel to Old Trafford for the decisive second leg a week later.
With Forest considered underdogs against the star-studded United, it would be easy for Cooper to adopt a defensive game plan in hopes of a narrow victory.
But Cooper said he would tell his players to go on offense at the City Ground.
“It sure hasn’t been an easy journey to get to the semifinal, and we’ve treated it like any other game, one where we want to do well and win,” Cooper told reporters.
“It’s a semi-final, we really want to commit to it, we really want to attack it. Obviously it’s Man United, it’s two games, incredibly difficult games, but we don’t want to regret it.”
“We’re in the semi-final of a major cup. I think we should think that they don’t come very often, so treat it like it’s the last.”
“There is a very good feeling about the semi-final in the city, the stadium will obviously be the atmosphere that has been in every game so far this season, which has been incredible, and we should really embrace it.”
Forest played United in the league in December, losing 3-0 at Old Trafford, and Cooper was unhappy with his team’s lack of confidence on that occasion.
He wants a livelier display this time.
“We feel that we didn’t play with enough confidence and courage in the game,” he said.
“It was going to be tough whatever, and we could have played better and still not get anything out of the game.
“But we came off the court thinking we could have done a little bit better there, and I don’t want that in these games, I don’t want to regret it.”
“We feel good pressure to want to do well, and I just want to make sure that we go into the games with a really positive mindset, I want the players to believe that they can succeed.
“We have to believe that we can play well in this game and that we can have a positive contribution.”