Bristol's Pressure Is Greater
Colin Calderwood today kicked off the mind games ahead of next weekend's crucial League One finale - by insisting: 'The pressure is on Bristol City, not us'.
Nottingham Forest ensured that City must beat Rotherham at Ashton Gate on Saturday to be certain of holding onto second place, after the Reds' 3-1 success at Leyton Orient.
Just a single point now separates the two teams, with third-placed Forest set to host Crewe at the City Ground on Saturday.
And Calderwood attempted to crank-up the pressure on Bristol as he claimed: 'Obviously their pressure will be greater because they are looking at something they almost had and now might lose.
'We have got to get above them, the easier game is ours, because they have more to lose than us.
'It leads to all sorts of mind games, obviously, and there will be a lot of nervousness in both camps.
'But they were almost over the line and they have slipped up. They have no allowance, no insurance and we have to make sure that, if they do not step up to the mark, we are in there.
'We knew their score all the time on Saturday and even a draw would have been a good result for us.
'Now it would be interesting if they got beaten and we drew, because we could sneak above them on Saturday - but then Blackpool could overtake us as well.
'We just have to win the next game and see where it takes us. It could be a wonderful afternoon.
'We have to put some sort of pressure on them and there is none on us because it would be an extraordinary turnaround from us to leapfrog them in the space of two games.
'Blackpool are very much in contention, we have to be aware of them because there are three teams who could win promotion next week.'
Forest have now scored ten goals in the space of three consecutive victories, following their 3-1 success over Orient.
But Calderwood insists his side still have to improve if they are to win promotion, either automatically or via the play-offs.
'To go one behind in the manner we did was not good, we switched off and Lockwood got in and had too much space,' he said. 'That looked as though it would make it really difficult, but our response was good.
'Through the period that we scored the goals we played well. But we could have been more clinical, we could have looked an even better team.
'We are not playing as well as we can do, nowhere near. There has to be more to come. Because that is not good enough to get us promoted. We can improve on Saturday's performance monumentally, hugely
'I am happy in the sense that we won but there is huge room for us to be better.
'We played fairly well, but we want the cake with the cherry and the icing. We won the game, which is what is important. But we have to be better.
'I think we can do better once we have got the advantage in the game. We showed good spirit to get the advantage in the game but after that, we could do more.
'The fact is that we have made Bristol City have to win to win promotion. If they win the last game they will go up. If they don't win it, we might just sneak up.'
Calderwood was full of praise for two-goal striker Jack Lester, whose understanding with Kris Commons was the turning point of the match. 'He was very influential,' he said. 'He was a constant thorn in their side.'
'He was very influential in the first half and he created the second goal for Kris as well, with his bright play,' said Calderwood.
'He was a constant thorn in their side, he has reaped the rewards through his two goals, but it was an outstanding overall contribution to the team.
'Jack's was a wonderful individual goal and between he and Kris the next two were very, very well crafted through some very clever play. From then on in, we needed to do things better.'
Nottingham Evening Post
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