Date:Monday January 15 2007
Colin Calderwood today challenged Nottingham Forest to hang on to the League One top spot right to the end of the season after a hard-fought win over battling Yeovil.
They were made to scrap all the way for their sixth 1-0 victory of the season but the Forest boss believes his players should set themselves 'ambitious' targets for the remainder of the campaign.
He says that means focusing on rebuilding the seven-point gap they once held at the top of the table - and going on to take the title.
'We have to be ambitious, arrogant,' said Calderwood. 'We want to build a gap again at the top, and we want to stay there. We do not want to be relying on other results to take us to where we want to be. We want to do it for ourselves again.
'It was a more important result for us than the win over Charlton in the Cup - and the bonus was Oldham scoring near the end of the game against Scunthorpe.
'Six of the top seven were playing each other and we were one of two that have taken maximum points, so it was an important weekend. Next we go to Swansea and it is another big one - then suddenly the games left are in the teens.'
Calderwood says the Reds will retain the lead if they can maintain the same level of determination they showed against Yeovil.
'To be ahead at this stage and to keep ahead, when we get to the point where we are down to a dozen games or 11 or ten, we have got to go through this next period with the same level of resolve.
'This performance had a lot of similarities to performances we have seen this season,'' he added.
'We dug in and there was nothing fanciful about the way we played. Being professional, dealing with the conditions like we did - that is what takes you to promotion.
'There have been quite a few tight wins, but if you look at teams that have been successful, even Manchester United and Chelsea have a lot of 1-0 wins. Sometimes when you come off after a win like that you don't realise how tight it was, how closely-fought the game was.
'We will have matches like this between now and the end of the season. The important thing is that we now look as though we will stick in games longer than we did in the middle of December.
'This result is a big step in the right direction for us. Not the final step, but a big step.'
Calderwood admitted the performance was in total contrast to the FA Cup success over Charlton seven days earlier, when Forest produced some outstanding football.
'We have played more games like this than the one we had last week. It was every bit as tight as we expected.
'We had to play well to win, but the result was more important than the performance. We fought like tigers and did not give them a real chance.'
Nottingham Evening Post
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