Date:Friday May 11 2007
As they embarked on their long coach journey down to Yeovil last night, a few of the Forest players were planning on passing the time with a few friendly hands of poker.
Only small amounts of cash will change hands - the players know that the high stakes game will begin for real tonight, on the pitch at Huish Park, as Colin Calderwood's side take on Yeovil in the first leg of the play-off semi-final.
For midfielder James Perch (pictured below) a few games of cards only helps to increase the sense of team spirit within the ranks.
And he says that, even knowing what is at stake against Yeovil, Forest's players will be more than equipped to cope with the pressure.
'We do play poker on the coach,' he said. 'It is a good way of passing the time. It is far from serious, we don't play for much money - but I am normally winning.
'When it comes to the big game tonight, we are all confident, we have the confidence to achieve what we need to do.
'All the lads know that we are well capable of getting to Wembley and, whichever team we have to play, we can turn up on the day and get the result that we need, as long as we produce our best.'
Perch says Forest are boosted by the fact that they have already beaten Yeovil twice this season, each time by 1-0.
And in the trio of Kris Commons, Jack Lester and Grant Holt, Perch believes Forest have the firepower to hurt a Yeovil side that has conceded only 12 goals at home this season.
'It is good to know that we can beat them, because we have done it twice this season,' he said. 'But this is a different game now, a different situation and different players.
'They do not have Leon Best or many of the other loan players that they have had this season.
'But we have the firepower to score goals, it doesn't matter who or where we are playing, because we have the players who can do damage.
'We have Kris Commons, Jack Lester and Grant Holt - they are all on fire at the minute, they are all banging them in.
'We are very confident that we are going to get goals.'
And, while a place in the Championship is the ultimate prize, Perch says Forest cannot afford to approach the game any differently to normal.
'I know there is more at stake but the object is still the same,' he said.
'I am looking forward to it - and I know everyone else is, as well.'
Nottingham Evening Post
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