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The City Ground – Nottingham Forests Secret Weapon

The City Ground has been Forests home since 1898 and has subsequently been home to some spectacular games over the years. Since its first game in 1898 which saw Blackburn come to the city ground Forest fans have been treated to some fantastic games of football such as the famous 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the 1978/79 European, the 1990 League Cup semifinal first leg which saw the Reds defeat Coventry in 1990 with goals from Clough and Pearce sealing the win or even the more recent of the memories from the City Ground such as the Playoff semifinal where a Brice Samba goalkeeping masterclass allowed Forest to win the tie with fans flooding the pitch from every stand after the last penalty save.

On the banks of the river Trent lay a fantastic stadium that holds 30,445 people and has held up to 49,946 in the late 60’s against Manchester United a ground brimming with history and some of the older people in attendance on a matchday are full of stories of joy and hope, despair and disappointment. The younger of the crowd full of hope and a desperation for achievement all mixes together for one of the greatest atmospheres in English football.

In my memory the fantastic nights seeing Forest knock Arsenal out of the FA cup on two occasions, reach Wembley for the first time in 30 years and all those famous recent derby triumphs from the masked Benalouane scoring early to Samba scrapping Lawrence and Pinillos saving a point late. All mixed with the not so forgettable pains of Sheffield Wednesday scoring four in the first half or the 4-1 loss against stoke that cost us playoffs are swift reminders that not every game we play at the world-famous City Ground is one that leaves happy memories.

I’m lucky enough to have had a season ticket for some years now and have one for the upcoming Premier League season so I’m more than familiar with how the fans can push the team to that next level. You would do well to find something better than 28,000 Forest fans belting out Mull of Kintyre before kick off and the following atmosphere doesn’t disappoint.

The one thing the Forest fans love is a legend at the City Ground while the older fans who saw the European success remember the likes of John Robertson and John McGovern and the slightly younger fans of the successful 90’s era saw Stuart “Psycho” Pearce and Stan Collymore the younger generation have somewhat been starved of a City Ground legend with the likes of Earnshaw, Grabban and Assombalonga being the closest thing younger fans have had to a legend, which with all due respect to the players mentioned shows the desire for a new legend to take role at the City Ground in this new Premier League era with the likes or Joe Worrall and Brennan Johnson being obvious favorites to become the next big legend at Forest.

With an extremely tough season ahead for Forest they will need to make the City Ground somewhat of a fortress if they want to stay up, with so many new additions to the squad we’re yet to see to how they will adapt and perform in front of the city ground faithful but hopefully experienced players such as Worrall and Yates can help the new lads overcome any fear or nerves in the first home game against West Ham.

Only recently Michail Antonio came out and said he will not celebrate if he should score at the City Ground on his return with West Ham out of respect he has for the club and fans which provides great insight into just how good it must feel to have a good connection with the forest faithful.

With Forest fans turning up in incredible numbers last season away fans can expect to see a packed-out City Ground when they visit. With West Ham, Tottenham and Bournemouth being the first three sides to visit the City Ground, Forest fans would like to see their side take 4 points minimum from these games as echoed by Cooper getting a good start is crucial to the season.

“Amazing supporters, Amazing atmosphere” quotes from Steve Coopers first post-match interview sums it all up even in hard times the Forest fans will support the team to the very end of every game and every season.

While Forest fans can only hope that the City Ground becomes a fortress where like in the glory days where Europe’s elite are terrified to come and play a Forest side full of confidence and determination that they can play and beat the very best on any given occasion, however one thing that any fan coming to the City Ground is guaranteed is that you’re going to face a packed-out home end singing loudly behind Steve Coopers men for the full 90 minutes and any added time that we may have to nervously sit through.

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