Points deduction, survival prediction and Sheff Utd - Nottingham Forest press conference notes

Nottingham Forest head coach Nuno Espirito Santo
Nottingham Forest head coach Nuno Espirito Santo -Credit:Getty

Nuno Espirito Santo’s press conferences ahead of Nottingham Forest games have followed a similar theme for a while now.

For some time, most meetings with the media have been dominated by talk of two issues. Referees and points deductions.

The Portuguese often doesn’t give much away, but on those two topics he does tend to become quite animated. Nevertheless, he is probably getting fed up of talking about both.

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Nuno has always said he wanted the points deduction saga sorted out as soon as possible. That he is still talking about Profitability and Sustainability Rules and appeal hearings in May is no doubt a source of frustration.

Forest had hoped to hear whether they have been successful over challenging their four-point deduction by now. They were expecting to hear this week. But, so far at least, no news.

“It is very difficult. We have been dealing with this situation for a while,” Nuno said.

“We all expected the decision to come sooner so we are aware and we know exactly how many points we have.”

Ideally he would like to have the outcome before Saturday’s trip to Bramall Lane. The Reds know that is a big one.

Nuno did not downplay the importance of the clash with Sheffield United. He takes confidence from the fact survival remains in Forest’s own hands with three games to play and he was also encouraged by last weekend’s performance against Manchester City.

However, the fact the Blades are already relegated adds a different dimension to the fixture. For the Reds, it makes it harder to predict what to expect.

There is clear admiration between Nuno and Chris Wilder. The former’s face almost lit up when he talked about his opposite number. And he is expecting a tough test.

“We go a long way back, to the Championship,” Nuno said of Blades boss Wilder. “I have a big admiration for him.

“The element of pressure they had is not there anymore. I don’t know what Chris is going to do, shape, organisation all these things, but we know it is going to be tough. They are relegated but there is a pride element in front of their fans.

“We know it’s going to be tough but we believe in ourselves. We know we have a hard task ahead of us.”

As it stands, Forest are one point above the bottom three with three games to go. Their position could change, though, if they do get the outcome of their appeal hearing before their trip to South Yorkshire.

Nevertheless, Nuno admitted the likelihood is the battle for survival is going to go down to the wire. He is well aware there could be a nervy trip to Burnley on the final day of the campaign ahead.

“Looking at the table and the next matches, it’s going to be until the end,” he said. “It’s not going to be solved (at the weekend). We depend on ourselves and after Sheffield it must still be in our hands so, for that, we must win.”

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