Forest flourish on Roy's powers

That was the weekend that was
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The Independent Online
Nottingham Forest fans undoubtedly left the Victoria Ground under the impression that Stuart Pearce had rescued them from humiliation at the hands of Stoke City. There is, however, an alternative view... that it was actually Bryan Roy.

Not that anyone would be foolish enough to argue with Psycho about whose shot won Forest their 82nd-minute reprieve - but perhaps Roy's presence on the field had something to do with it.

The Dutchman's record as a talisman this season is such that of the 18 Forest matches Roy has started only two have ended in defeat. And one of those was the first leg of a Uefa Cup tie ultimately won... through Roy's goal in the second leg.

Saturday's start was his first in 10 matches following cartilage surgery, a sequence in which Forest have won only twice. No wonder they were keen to bring him back.

Frank Clark, the manager, firmly believes that if Forest, ultimately, are to be successful this season they will need Roy not only in the side but playing to the maximum of his capability. Starting games has not been the problem of their pounds 2.9m record signing from Foggia as finishing them. Last season, in 37 League starts, he was hauled off 16 times.