Nottingham Post

Time to end road trouble


THERE is plenty riding on the PSR derby this weekend as Nottingham Forest make the trip to face Everton on Sunday.

Both clubs have asterisks next to their names, having been docked points for breaching Profitabil­ity and Sustainabi­lity Rules. Both clubs are going through an appeals process.

Everton, of course, already have experience on that front. Their 10-point deduction earlier in the campaign was reduced to six on appeal, and now they have challenged their two-point sanction for a second breach.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Reds will head to Goodison Park in the knowledge that their appeal hearing is scheduled to begin next week.

Nuno had hoped there might have been clarity before the teams met on Merseyside. He has always expressed a desire for the matter to be sorted sooner rather than later. Instead, Forest will have to wait.

And the whole of the Premier League will have to wait even longer for the Toffees’ case to be resolved, now it has been reported they have lodged their second appeal. It looks as though it will be a push for the backstop date of May 24 to be met, meaning the relegation picture could still be up in the air after the final round of fixtures have been played.

Nuno was spot on when he described it as “a mess” last week. That there could be a situation where teams still do not know their fate by the time their holidays have started is ludicrous.

Neverthele­ss, regardless of what unfolds in a hearing room and regardless of whether Forest are successful in seeing their punishment reduced, Nuno and his players must plot their own path to safety. Retaining their top-flight status remains in their own hands as they sit one point above 18th-placed Luton Town with five games to go.

But to get there, the Reds are likely to need to pick up points on the road. Their remaining home games are against Manchester City and Chelsea – not the easiest of tests, even if they drew with the former at the City Ground last term and the latter blow hot and cold.

That leaves Forest’s away games. Trips to Everton, Sheffield United and Burnley come with their own challenges, particular­ly for a team with only two wins on their travels in the league this term.

The issue is a carry-over from last season. There has been some improvemen­t in performanc­es but another leap forward is needed with results.

Goodison Park would be a good place to start.

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