Football: Forest are out for revenge

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The Independent Online
THE First Division leaders Nottingham Forest have a score to settle with promotion rivals Charlton today as Dave Bassett's side suffered a 4-1 FA Cup defeat on their last visit to The Valley in January.

"That was a terrible day for us all," Dave Beasant, the Forest goalkeeper, said, "but it was a game played in terrible conditions when we had a lot of injuries.

"I think you'll see the real Nottingham Forest this time."

Sunderland can climb above Middlesbrough, busy with the Coca-Cola Cup final at Wembley tomorrow, and into the second automatic promotion place by beating Bury at home.

Joe Royle, the Manchester City manager, has defended his decision to leave Georgiou Kinkladze out for their crucial trip to Bradford. "He has not been right in himself for a while," he said. "Anyone who saw his performance at Port Vale recently will realise there's a lot of pressure on the young man at the moment."

His Ipswich counterpart, George Burley, has an entirely different worry - complacency. He is worried that his side's 15-match unbeaten run, which has carried them into the play-off zone, could be under threat from bottom- placed Reading.

The former Celtic manager Tommy Burns will take charge of the Royals for the first time at Portman Road and Burley said: "Reading have a new manager and their players will be keen to impress.

"They're desperate for points and will be scrapping for everything."

Burns signed seven players before Thursday's transfer deadline and he is set to make a number of changes.

Trevor Francis believes his Birmingham side can make the play-offs despite taking just two points from their last three games. The Blues face their West Midlands rivals West Brom at St Andrew's and Francis has had some tough words with his squad. "I have actually said to them that if there is anybody in this group who doesn't think that we can get into the play- offs tell me now and they can see out the season in the reserves," he said.

Deadline-day loan signing Eddie McGoldrick will make his Stockport debut against Crewe at Edgeley Park because their new Scotland B international, Martin McIntosh, is suspended.