Nottingham Forest vs Leeds united: Match Preview.

Stuart Pearce will be hoping that his Nottingham Forest side can get back on track from off-field problems when they take on Leeds on Saturday.

It has been a tough week with both of the sides being hit with transfer embargos midweek after failing to meet the Financial Fair Play regulations which has put both managers’ recruitment plans on hold.

Forest have been in poor form of late after failing to win in their last three games including a 0-0 draw with a Rotherham last Saturday, despite this poor form they only sit five points outside the play-off places and Pearce will look for more composure from his players in this clash.

He said: “It's a case of galvanising that little bit of confidence in the team and trusting the players. They scrapped really well at Rotherham to get a foothold in the game.

“We competed fantastically well, once you've done that and turned the ball over it's time to get it down and enjoy passing and possession.”

It has been a nightmare season for Leeds so far with owner Massimo Cellino who has now been banned fired hired and fired Brian McDermott, Dave Hockaday and Darko Milanic before hiring Neil Redfearn on permanent basis.

There form hasn’t been any better with last weekend’s defeat to Fulham being their third in four games, this leaves Leeds five points above the relegation zone but a win at the City Ground will move them within four of Forest so it will be all to play for.

There are no fresh injury concerns for Pearce who could welcome Thomas Ince into the squad, Dexter Blackstock made a return to action last week at the New York Stadium the first since October 2013. But Pearce remains cautiously optimistic of the striker’s progress.

“I can't lose track of what a bad injury it was, it kept him out for a long time and he's had to be patient.

“We're pleased to have him back, it's an extra option. He gives you an aerial threat that's always a problem to defences,” he said.

However defender Giuseppe Bellusci remains a doubt for the trip, the Italian has been missing since the win over Derby at the end of November and has been undergoing treatment with united medical staff this week.

Redfearn said: “He’s going to be touch and go again, he’s not a million miles away but it’s not an injury we can push.

“If he comes back too early and does his hamstring badly then we’ll be talking about five or six weeks out. We’re not going to risk it.”

Rudy Austin (ankle) is also a major doubt along with Aidan White, Lewis Walters and Zan Benedicic who are long-term absentees, Redfearn could give striker Billy Sharp a return to the squad.

Written by @Danialkennedy95

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