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Neil Harris: "It promises to be an open game"

23 August 2016

Fans could be in for a treat says Lions boss ahead of EFL Cup tie

Neil Harris believes that the fans could be in for a real footballing treat when The Lions lock horns with Championship side Nottingham Forest in the EFL Second Round at The Den this evening (7.45pm).

The two teams met far more recently than the official stats will show, having played in a behind-closed-doors friendly whilst both clubs were at their respective pre-season training camps in Portugal.

"That has got to be one of the most open games I have ever been involved with," said Lions boss Chopper. "There were so many chances created both sides it was incredible.

"I think the match tonight will be an open game with two different styles of play. Forest are very possession-based and overload the midfield. They have scored a lot and conceded a lot too."

However as the stats show, possession doesn't always mean points, or in tonight's case, progress in the Cup competition. Just last weekend Liverpool were beaten 2-0 at Burnley, incidentally managed by former Den favourite Sean Dyche, despite enjoying a staggering 80.6 per cent possession.

Whilst not suggesting that The Lions will match Burnley's 19.4 per cent possession - the lowest by any winning team in the Premier League since Opta started keeping records in 2003 - it does prove that it's not how much of the ball you have that matters, but how you use it when you have it!

Manager Harris, whilst likely to make changes to his playing personnel, will demand a display of pride, passion and purpose from his team.

"Of course we want to be competitive and win, that's without a shadow of doubt," added Chopper. "Everyone knows that I hate losing and want to win everything. However, the League Cup is not the main priority this season, and as much as we will be competitive we will also be looking to make a few changes.

"This game will give the boys an opportunity to test themselves against a Championship club under the lights at The Den on a Tuesday night. They have a chance to play and impress and also for other people to find some rhythm to their game."

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