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Calderwood On The Cup

Colin Calderwood is under no illusions as to why tomorrow's FA Cup clash with Salisbury will be screened live across the nation.

Television producers smell blood.

The Nottingham Forest manager admitted it was an ideal draw for an early upset - and knows that's exactly what viewers of BBC's Match of the Day will be hoping to see.

Two-time European Cup winners against non-league fodder - it's got giant-killing written all over it.

What's more, Forest's recent record in cup competitions does little to suggest they can avoid a shock in football's oldest competition.

Cup exits to Woking, Chester and Macclesfield last year were followed by a humbling first-round Carling Cup defeat at Accrington Stanley this season.

Even if a resounding 5-0 victory against Yeading in the first round of the Cup went some way to laying their ghosts to rest - Calderwood knows the journey to Salisbury will be a different proposition.

'The only reason we're on the TV is because of the potential upset,' he said. 'It is the perfect tie for this round of the FA Cup - us away against a non-league team. Particularly one like Salisbury, who are progressive and are going well in the league.

'Accrington is in the memory, but as we approach the game I'd imagine it's not something we'd think about. But obviously we don't want to get put out by a team below us in the league pyramid.'

Forest's recent failings in cup competitions aside, the televised fixture presents another problem for Calderwood.

While he dismissed it as pure coincidence, his side's performances on TV have been nothing short of woeful of late.

A 2-0 defeat to Oldham last season was followed up by the Accrington shock in August and then the 4-0 humbling at the hands of Scunthorpe in October.

But, if the City Ground manager is feeling any trepidation ahead of the trip to Salisbury, he was disguising it well this week, as he portrayed a man totally at ease with his side's progress.

With Forest riding high at the summit of League One, Calderwood could afford to make a joke out of his side's shyness in front of the camera. But he admitted it was a run he'd be happy to put to bed as soon as possible.

'The one good thing is that we've shown nobody what we're good at,' he said wryly.

'If we become a good team I'm sure we'd have to win on TV sooner or later. It's time to start.'

After ducking out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Wednesday, Forest will not want the distinction of successive cup exits.

Though a potential banana skin, Salisbury are unlikely to pose the same problems as Bristol City.

The Wiltshire side, currently third in the Conference South, are even unlikely to have the traditional plot twist of a difficult pitch, having recently moved to a new stadium.

Forest may also have to contend with more than the usual atmosphere of the Cup tomorrow - given Salisbury's close proximity to Swindon, where Calderwood turned out as a player.

'I've been in and around that area numerous times and the Swindon fans used to come out of the hills to the games,' he said.

'But it will have absolutely nothing to do with me - it'll be all because they've got Nottingham Forest in the second round of the FA Cup.

'The prize is the chance of pulling a Premiership team, which is even better.

'They are one game away from being in the third round against a Chelsea or a Man United. I can't imagine they think this is their prize so far - they will think there are bigger fish to fry.

'It'll be real tight and fairly atmospheric in it's own way. It'll be an exciting afternoon.'


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 2 2006

Time: 6:06PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
We'll win no friends tomorrow, that's for sure. We just have to be professional and do the job and make sure we're in the 3rd round.
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02/12/2006 19:03:00

damn right
Report Abuse
02/12/2006 20:03:00

a close shave today lads but you should do the biz in the replay though
Mexbro miller
Report Abuse
03/12/2006 19:03:00


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