Cotterill: We must be up for City Ground challenge

Former Pompey midfielder Lassana Diarra

Poll result: Who is Pompey’s greatest modern-era player?

Steve Cotterill has called on his men to rise to the challenge of ending Nottingham Forest's home invincibility.

The Blues go to the City Ground tomorrow bidding to end the home side's run of 31 games without defeat in the league.

Cotterill believes his side contains the kind of players who will not be over-awed by Forest's impenetrable form on their own patch.

He feels they have every chance of success if they get off to flying start.

Cotterill said: 'It's going to be a tough game.

'Forest are in a good run of form and have a good squad.

'The manager has done well there for the past few years.

'I know about their record. It's a marvellous achievement, really. To go that many games unbeaten is brilliant. So we know we've got our hands full.

'If we can do well and get a good start in the game, get a foothold, who knows where it's going to take us?

'I think you can attack it two ways. We can either say we're the ones who want to beat them or we can go there, be petrified of them and end up being notch number 32.

'We have enough experienced players who have played at a good level and have been to Nottingham Forest. We're looking forward to a good game against a good side.'

Ricardo Rocha and Liam Lawrence remain doubts for Pompey as they recover from their respective injuries.

Rocha is battling a hamstring problem which kept him out at Stoke, while Lawrence picked up a hip problem at Brighton.

Cotterill said: 'They both haven't trained yet. We know if we can get 11 out, and they aren't injured or tired, that we are a match for anyone.'