Nottingham Forest head coach Phillipe Montanier has told the club's official website that his side must keep their feet on the ground despite recording back-to-back victories, as they prepare to welcome table-topping Newcastle United to the City Ground on Friday night.
Montanier, who joined Forest from Ligue 1 side Rennes over the summer, has endured somewhat of a baptism of fire since taking on his first job in England, with the Reds' winning just four of their opening 16 Championship fixtures prior to their recent successes over Ipswich Town and Barnsley.
Seven points from their last three league fixtures has helped Forest open up a four-point gap between themselves and 22nd placed Wigan Athletic, who occupy the third and final relegation spot, and their form over the festive period is likely to decide whether they will be looking upwards or over their shoulders for the remainder of the season.
With seven goals scored in their last two games as well as successive victories, the Forest squad are understandably imbued with fresh-confidence heading into Friday's clash with Rafael Benitez's promotion-chasing Magpies, however Montanier has warned his side that they must not get ahead of themselves.
“I would like to be prudent," the Frenchman told Forest's official website.
"If you lose two or three games it is dangerous as you can move towards the bottom, but if you win three games you can reach the top 10.
“We need a positive result on Friday and we can do it. You have to be clear and not panic when you have a bad result, and if you have positive results you also have to be clear and focus on the next game. We have been working hard and the results are always a consequence of that hard work.
“For me, Newcastle are the best team in the Championship. They have the best attack and one of the best defences. They have won a lot of games and are a good team with a good manager. It is a tough challenge but we are excited for it.
“It is always a good challenge when we have to play against the best teams. It was important to win the last two games to play against Newcastle with more confidence.”
Forest could hardly have hand-picked a better time to face Newcastle, with the Magpies heading into Friday's game on the back of two successive defeats and a gruelling yet unsuccessful 120 minute slog against Premier League outfit Hull City in the EFL Cup Quarter Finals on Tuesday night.
Victory for Forest would propel them up the table and put them hot on the heels of a host of play-off chasing sides that currently sit above them rather than casting troubled glances towards the relegation zone, and Montanier will be desperate for his side to maintain their recent upturn in form.