"If we go to Carlisle and get a result, there are a few teams who still have to go there themselves. Then we have to replicate what Yeovil have done (winning six of their last eight matches), by going on a run. Are we capable of that? Undoubtedly. It will be towards the end of a tired week that we will be lifted by a good result.
"I know if we get something there tonight we will take a monumental amount of fans up to Bradford on Saturday. It is very tight at the top and this is the game that will make a difference, to a degree. If we can get a win, it will put us in the ascendancy, to a degree, and it will give everyone a lift. A point helps us but three will damage the other teams around us, so we know what the challenge is.
"The best performance I have seen this season was Carlisle's at Oldham. That was when we were set to play Carlisle last time and we went to scout them. They were exceptional that day. In recent weeks we have had an away draw at Swansea, which is creditable, a home win over Yeovil - which when you look at their run, we are the only team to beat them for a long time.
"If we back that up by getting results at Carlisle and Bradford, we leave ourselves in a strong position, with home games to come against teams who are not in the top pack. We are certainly in a much better frame of mind today than we were as we left Stamford Bridge. We have done some good business this week, we are ready for action and it is important that we hit the ground running."
New Forest signings David Prutton from Southampton and Luke Chambers from Northampton did not seal their permanent moves in time to play in the match. Midfielder Kris Commons is still sidelined with a hamstring injury but John Thompson is available after being cup-tied at the weekend against Chelsea. Sammy Clingan picked up his fifth booking of the season at Stamford Bridge but his one match ban will not come into force until Saturday when Colin Calderwood returns to Northampton to take on the club he used to manage. Calderwood will also tell both Ian Breckin and Julian Bennett - who sit on four bookings - to be cautious, as they would also miss the game against the Cobblers if they pick up a yellow card tonight.
In late evening transfer news Forest will not have John Thompson or Nicky Southall in their playing squad for the match tonight. Thompson has rejoined Tranmere Rovers on loan until the end of the season where he had a temporary stay earlier in the campaign, meanwhile Southall moves back to the Priestfield Stadium, where he made 238 appearances before moving to the City Ground in the summer of 2005, on a two and a half year contract, the 35-year old having turned down the offer from the Tricky Trees of a one year deal to stay in Nottingham.
The referee for tonight's match is Darren Drysdale from Waddington in Lincolnshire, and he will be assisted down the lines by Paul Curry from Northumberland and Colin Harwood from Greater Manchester. Meanwhile the fourth official will be Garry Wallace from Houghton-le-Springs in Tyne and Wear.