It’s second versus third in the Championship, with a home win guaranteeing the Cherries a place in the top flight, while an away win gives Forest the advantage going into the final day
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As an isolated game, Bournemouth’s 2-1 win at the City Ground in August was anything but spectacular.
A goal in both halves by David Brooks, who was later shown a red card, and Phillip Billing saw Scott Parker’s sideline typically close championship competition against Nottingham Forest. It would prove to be Parker’s first league win as boss of Cherries surprising decision to abandon ship and go Fulham earlier this summer.
It would be the first of 23 championship wins this season for Bournemouth. Nine months later and a repeat of that result to claim victory number 24, Parker’s men are guaranteed to join his old club First League next season. In as big a regular-season clash as the Championship has seen in the last 20 years, the Cherries will be staring at the playoffs after a loss and putting Forest on pole for second place.
A home win sees Bournemouth move up, while a draw keeps the three-point buffer going into the final day. However, in an away win, Forest would overtake them for the first time this season with just 90 minutes remaining on goal difference.
Parker shows no sign of nervousness ahead of a monumental meeting and says his players’ “process-oriented” mentality gives him confidence. “We have an opportunity – a win gets us promotion,” said Parker. “What we’ve done this season has been very process oriented and very clear about what we need to do and how we need to approach things.
“That will not change until Tuesday evening. It’s going to stay that way and we’re going to try to go and run and try to get the win. This team has shown me for much of this year that when they have to stand up, they have stood up many times. Tuesday night is the first time this season, after all the hard work we’ve put in, we have an opportunity to get promoted.”
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Bournemouth were among the promotion favorites for many when it came to judging pre-season runners and drivers, but Forest were far from that particular conversation.
A disappointing 17th place finish in 2020-21 was followed by an even underperforming early this season. With just one point from their first seven games – the club’s worst start in more than a century – Chris Hughton was awarded the contract in September.
Be since Replacement, Steve Cooper, worked wonders. The team brought up the rear when he arrived but their transformation has been great since.
Reinvigorated under the ex-Swansea manager, Forest changed formations and adopted a more proactive, attacking style of play that offered freedoms for young Welsh sensation Brennan Johnson and creative striker Philip Zinckernagel, who went on loan Watford. They have rocketed up the table, losing only twice in the league in 2022.
Also, instead of distracting yourself, you run to the barn storm FA Cup Quarterfinals improved their promotion eligibility with famous victories arsenal and leicester along the way. Academy-raised stars like Joe Worrall, Ryan Yates and Johnson, all rated £20m, have drawn attention, along with standout loanees like Djed Spence and James Garner who are at their best.
The feel-good factor is back at Forest as they seek to end a 23-year absence from the top flight.
While Parker seems to be listening to his head, Cooper almost certainly is listening to his heart. “We’re really looking forward to this game. We’re excited, we’re focused and we’re ready for it. It can’t come soon enough,” he admitted on the eve of the game.
“It doesn’t matter who we play against, we want to play our way. It doesn’t always work out and we’ve had some lows too, but the intention never changes. We want to be the best team and we aim to do it our way .”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/bournemouth-nottingham-forest-championship-promotion-26851188 Bournemouth vs Nottingham Forest: Premier League beckons winner of promotion showdown