Date:Thursday May 17 2007
Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade has insisted that his side can take heart from the away victories recorded in the Coca-Cola Football League play-offs so far when they travel to face Nottingham Forest tomorrow.The Glovers arrive at the City Ground 2-0 behind after losing the first leg of the League One semi-final at Huish Park last week. But that was just one of a number of away wins in the play-offs this month - a trend Slade hopes to continue tomorrow.
Both first legs in League One were won by the away side, with Blackpool following Forest's lead and winning on away turf. It has been a similar story in the Championship, with West Bromwich Albion, Derby County and Southampton all recording away victories.
You can also add in Exeter City's astonishing recovery in the Nationwide Conference play-offs, when they lost at home against Oxford United but then won the tie on penalties at the Kassam Stadium.
So although Yeovil face a tough task at the home of the former European Champions tomorrow, Slade believes that his side can still progress to the final at Wembley.
'The play-offs so far have made fantastic viewing and I'm sure our game at Forest will maintain that standard,' Slade said.
'The game between Derby and Southampton on Tuesday provided brilliant drama and has probably been the best game so far. And I think we can take heart from that game because Southampton, the away side, won the game over 90 minutes.
'They managed to turn it around and that gives us encouragement. At one stage they were two goals behind as well, which is the situation we find ourselves in. I think if you look at the play-offs as a whole so far there have been a few away wins, and we'll be looking to add to that number.'
Slade has called on his side to reproduce their first-leg performance - despite the defeat. The Glovers dominated much of the game against Forest but missed a series of chances, while the visitors scored twice from the penalty spot. 'I thought we picked an attacking side last Friday, and created at least seven excellent chances,' he said.
'On another day we would have scored two or three goals and, if we perform like that again, then we'll be fine. I think we are capable of getting the goals we need up there, but the first goal will be crucial. We have to score the first goal.'
Forest could have leading scorer Grant Holt available after injury, while midfielder David Prutton has recovered from illness. Slade said: 'It doesn't matter who plays for Nottingham Forest. We know what we've got to do and that's all we'll worry about. We need to have the same passion and we've got to move the ball about as well as we did last Friday. I think it'll be interesting.'
Yeovil defender Matthew Rose is expected to be available after recovering from a calf injury, but is likely to be among the substitutes. Striker Darryl Knights is now fully fit after an ankle injury and will provide Slade with an exciting option from the bench. Skipper Terry Skiverton has had a scan on his troublesome groin and is recovering well, but will not be fit for tomorrow night.
Source: This is Cornwall.
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