Manager Simon Grayson says his side are heading to the City Ground full of confidence and looking to one of the FA Cup fourth round’s big upsets.
The PNE boss spoke ahead of the tie with Billy Davies’ Nottingham Forest and, despite losing the appeal against Kevin Davies’ red card, feels that he has plenty of good options to put the Lilywhites into the last 16.
“We appealed against Kevin’s red card and got the report back yesterday saying that our appeal had been dismissed and the ban has been upheld,” he said.
“We felt we had a shout and if you don’t try, you don’t succeed.
“Kevin played well at the weekend, but we have plenty of striking options, whatever formation we choose to play; Joe Garner, Ian Hume, Paul Gallagher and Stuart Beavon. We are disappointed to lose him for three games, but it gives someone else a shout.
“We’ve played different formations, with different personnel within those formations and we have to pick a team to try and compete and try and win the game – we want to cause an upset and get a result.”
One of those options is 13-goal top scorer Joe Garner, who returns to his former club to face a manager he played under alongside the Trent and the North End chief feels his No.14 will be highly motivated by the encounter.
“It’s nice to go back to your previous club and Joe will be looking to carry on the form he has been in with his goals, put on a performance and try and cause an upset,” he continued.
“When they signed him from Carlisle he was getting goals, he was playing regularly and he was confident.
“He’s a good player and you don’t get that move to Forest and then Watford if you are not a good player. He been unfortunate that over a couple of years he has not had a run of games where people have seen the best of him.
“I have said since we have been here, even when he was not in the team, that he has always looked a threat in training and he’s a goalscorer and now you can see he is full of confidence and is bearing the fruits of playing regular first team football, as are we.”
Forest are on a ten match unbeaten run and having despatched a Premier League side 5-0 in the last round will themselves be hot favourites to progress, but after four impressive performances against Championship sides in Cup competitions this season, Grayson thinks they will not be taking the threat of the Lilywhites lightly.
“They are a very good team. They beat West Ham in the last round and we know it will be a tough test.
“This will be an even bigger yardstick of where we are than our previous games against Championship clubs this season, because Forest are flying at the minute.
“The level of players that they have got – and they have been linked with even more players this week – they are a strong squad and their ultimate ambition is to get automatic promotion.
“They proved in the last round what they are capable of doing to any team; they also beat Blackburn at the weekend, so we know we are in for a tough time, but I am sure Billy and his people will have looked at us, seen the capability we have within the group and will be expecting a difficult game,” he added.