It would be understandable if Micky Adams held a slight grudge against Gary Megson given the ex-West Bromwich Albion manager pipped him to the position at Nottingham Forest earlier this season.

However, Adams has since taken over at Coventry City and the 43-year-old says he has nothing but respect for Megson, who in many ways is a man after his own heart.

The pair carved out decent careers as midfielders who maximised their talent before turning to management where they thrive on getting the best out of players on limited resources.

Adams' promotions with Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City were achieved against the odds - as was Megson's first promotion to the Premiership with the Baggies.

Yet, despite their reputations as two of the most promising young English managers, Adams and Megson - who started the season with Leicester and Albion respectively - are embroiled in a tense relegation fight in the Championship and their teams face each other at Highfield Road tonight.

Adams said: "The comparisons are there because we started at different clubs at the beginning of the season with a lot of optimism that we could do well. It didn't work out for the pair of us so we joined a relegation dogfight.

"I respect Gary, he is not afraid to take up that challenge, he has enough about him to handle it and I would like to think I am the same.

"Gary's teams are notoriously difficult to break down, hard-working, fit and physical - hopefully a bit like my teams." Both managers have already had a considerable impact at their new clubs despite being in their posts only a matter of months.

Adams has brought in Marcus Hall, Robert Page, Trevor Benjamin, Shaun Goater, Richard Duffy, Adie Williams and Lloyd Dyer while Megson, who has shown any dissenting players the door, has added David Friio, John Curtis, Scott Dobie and Andy Melville.

Nevertheless both teams could yet be relegated and Adams says that, with Forest in the relegation zone with only 39 points compared to Coventry's 44, the visitors must win tonight.

"I would think the onus is on them to win the game," added Adams, whose side beat Brighton 2-1 last Saturday. "It would be a massive boost for us if we could win but a point would be OK."

Coventry have ex-Forest striker Stern John back in their squad following his return from international duty while Adams is likely to hand further starts to Goater and left winger Dyer, who Megson failed to sign on loan from Albion last month.

Adams said: "I've a few players that can do a lot of damage to them and Lloyd is one. If there was any interest in him from Gary I am sure it was because of the respect he has for him from their time together at West Brom."

Andy Morrell is pushing for a recall but Stuart Giddings is out for the rest of the season following ankle surgery and Williams is still being nagged by a calf injury.

Forest have doubts over Friio, Curtis and Kris Commons, who all limped out of their 1-1 draw with Crewe, but Melville should return from injury after a threematch absence which would enable Megson to revert to his preferred 3-5-2 formation.

Megson said: "It's a relegation battle and it's going to be a fight at Coventry. If I put anybody in that team who's not prepared to do that, they need to tell me earlier and not get on the bus.

"It will be a battle and we've got to stand up and be counted. This is a vital game for both teams because a win will be a boost to either."