DAVIES GOES FOX-HUNTING
MILLWALL ......0 N FOREST ........1
NOTTINGHAM Forest manager Billy Davies is relishing a ‘pre play-off play-off’ against Leicester on Saturday after his side kept their top-six hopes alive with a timely win at Millwall.
Greg Halford’s eighthminute header gave Forest their first win in seven games and meant only goal difference now separates them from sixthplaced Bolton.
Their defence comfortably kept out a very limited Millwall attack that all too often resorted to aimless long balls in front of a restless crowd at the Den.
Davies’ men now face a massive match against East Midlands rivals Leicester, who themselves can still make the play-offs, as they strive to extend their season.
He said: “The players have been outstanding since I came in – there’s no doubt that we’ve had to work very, very hard but we now go into a pre play-off play-off on Saturday.
“It’ll be a very exciting day and a very exciting end to the season and it’s all to play for.
“The last game of the season is going to be a real nerveshredding time both at the top and bottom of the table.
“To find ourselves in this position with one game to go, I must say I’m extremely proud of the players and the staff.
“We were very resilient and that was the most important thing because Millwall are very competitive here with a competitive fanbase behind them.
“I thought we worked very hard, we competed well and we kept a calm head which was important.”
Forest’s early winner came when poor Millwall marking from an Andy Reid corner gave Halford the comfortable task of nodding in at the back post.
The hosts had more trouble defending a setpiece when Mark Beevers did just enough to stop Billy Sharp from hooking in after Halford had flicked on Radoslaw Majewski’s corner.
The Lions took over half an hour to fashion even a half-chance when James Henry shot into the side netting after being found by George Saville.
After Millwall captain Alan Dunne came perilously close to heading into his own net, Forest almost sealed the points with 12 minutes left.
Reid spread the ball out left to Lewis McGugan, who picked out fellow substitute Marcus Tudgay, only for Lions stopper David Forde to make a terrific save.
Forde was called into action again after Simon Cox weaved his way into a good position before Henri Lansbury wastefully lofted an effort over.
In the fourth minute of added time a desperate home side forged one last chance when Sean St Ledger’s effort was pushed away by the underemployed Forest goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
And Millwall boss Kenny Jackett admitted the Lions failed to create enough as they slid to a third-straight defeat.
He said: “I was looking for the one player who could beat his man or get the other side of people or go past someone and take them out of the game, whether that’s out wide or up front.
“But creatively we couldn’t find a player who could deliver that cross or score that goal.
“I also felt that it was a good effort by the players and over the last couple of games we perhaps haven’t got a break that could have added to our points total.
“Ultimately it’s a disappointment because you need to score goals and that’s down to the process rather than the strikers overall because creatively we weren’t there this game.”
CLIMBING HIGH: Greg Halford heads the first goal for Forest
JUST FOR YOU: Halford hails the fans after scoring