BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill knows his side face a tough opening test against Nottingham Forest today, but has stressed that their opening league match of the season is just the beginning of the hard work which lies ahead if they are going to be successful this term.
Unbeaten in pre-season and with plenty of hard work already under their belts, the Reds are understandably upbeat about their chances in the Championship. And although Forest, now managed by former England boss Steve McClaren, should present an intriguing opening day test at the City Ground, Hill and his equally ambitious charges can hit the ground running.
“Historically Forest are a massive club,” said Hill. “Last season they were narrowly beaten by the team which did get promoted to the Play-offs.
“They’ve got a very successful manager who knows what he wants to do, so we know it’s going to be very difficult game.
“But it’s a game we’re looking forward too. If we can cut all the sideshows, then it’s just about business. The business is playing over 90 minutes to get as many points as you can.
“They will be strong. They’re got pedigree, but it’s up to us to compete. We’ll know the Nottingham Forest team inside out, we’ll be ready.”
And at this late stage in pre-season Hill already knows which team he’s going to play.
“There’s no question [about the team I’m going to pick] every manager does [knows their team] - and I’m no different to any other manager,” added Hill. “We’re confident and there is a competitive edge to be ambitious and successful this season. The season starts with Nottingham Forest, but it doesn’t finish with Nottingham Forest.
“They will be strong, they’ve got pedigree. But there’s belief in our players, so I don’t see why we can’t get the result we want. There should be no surprises. We’re planned and ready. It’s exciting for everyone. We’ve really got a strong appetite for this season.”