Swansea's Special One prepares 'heroes' for their trip to Wembley

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The Independent Football

Brendan Rodgers is a protege of Jose Mourinho and on Monday night he emulated his mentor's famous touchline celebration as his Swansea side booked their place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Swansea were hanging on to a 2-1 lead as the game at the Liberty Stadium moved into added time before Darren Pratley's 50-yard shot found an empty net after Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp was left stranded trying to score at a corner. As Pratley's goal went in, Rodgers was racing up the touchline in the manner of Mourinho when his Porto side knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League in 2004 through Francisco Costinha's last-minute goal.

"It was a brilliant game, it was probably a final there in relation to the quality of both sides," said Rodgers, who worked with Mourinho at Chelsea before spells in charge of Watford and Reading. "You have to pay credit to Nottingham Forest for coming here, with our record, and play like they did. They played very, very well. But I think the night belongs to my group, my players and the supporters because, as I said, they were absolutely heroic."

Rodgers, who will climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity next month, said he was not bothered whom Swansea meet at Wembley a week on Monday as the Welsh club seek to complete their rise from League Two to the Premier League in the space of six years.

For Forest, it was their second successive defeat in the Championship play-offs but manager Billy Davies moved quickly to deny rumours that he would be leaving the club.

"Let me make it clear – 100 per cent clear – that my agreement with this board was three and a half years to get this club out of this division," said Davies, who is known to have a difficult relationship with Forest owner Nigel Doughty.

"My intention is to get to the summer, which I've already started with the staff looking at the changes, and prepare again for another excellent challenge next season. I'm planning on going nowhere."

Forest trailed 2-0 at half-time but fought their way back. Rob Earnshaw's goal with 10 minutes to go gave them hope and the Wales striker then hit a post before Pratley killed off their fightback. "I said to the players at the end we could do no more. I thought their performance in the second half was magnificent," Davies added. "I've got to say I'm not disappointed, I'm not down. I'm very, very upbeat because of what my players gave us."

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