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Preview: Rotherham V Forest

Oh cripes. Rotherham look in great shape and Forest...erm...don't.

Daniel Smith/Getty Images

If it feels like Forest never seem to lose to Rotherham, that's because they don't. Or at least, very rarely anyway.

Since the Millers made their way up to the second tier in 2001, they have had precious little joy from their meetings with Forest.

Since 17th September 2001, the teams have met 16 times, resulting in seven defeats for the South Yorkshire club and nine draws. That's not great. In fact, one might even go as far as to say that it's rather dispiriting for a Rotherham fan.

But then again, each club have their own crosses to bear. *big wave here to Walsall*. It goes deeper than this though. Prior to 2001, you need to go back to 1975 for the previous meeting: a two legged tie in the League Cup in which Forest ran out comfortable winners, 7-2 on aggregate.

You need to go back another 18 years for the previous meeting to 1957. Forest won 3-1.

To cut to the chase, the last time Rotherham put one over on Forest was on 15th September 1956 - a 3-2 victory.

It occurs that there are two ways of looking at Saturday's clash: one way is to recline on the big comfy chair, reach for a monolithic cigar and kick back since clearly, the stars are aligned in Forest's favour. Besides, if they play like they did in the second half against Brighton, it's all going to be alright. And Neil Warnock - impressive as the results have been for Rotherham under his leadership - ain't no god: his luck will run out soon enough.

There is an alternative way of seeing this though. Forest are desperately checking all the kitchen cupboards and ransacking that drawer in which all the thingumabobs are kept for the last drop of luck against Rotherham, but coming up short.

Rotherham's current form is frankly scary and no doubt the likes of Lee Camp, Matt Derbyshire, Greg Halford and Leon Best are dreaming of notching a scruffy winner and standing - arms aloft - right in front of the travelling Forest fans. Maybe even a cheeky badge kiss just for laughs. Camp is already practising that distinctive strut of his in preparation for the final whistle. You can see it now, can't you? He'll milk the applause of the home crowd then distinctly and deliberately stroll over to the away end - all chest puffed and cocksure before nodding in self satisfaction and seemingly applauding the away end while everyone there knows that deep down, it's a passive aggressive clap of the hands - he's actually applauding himself because he is, after all, the greatest.

Does it really matter anyway? After all, MK Dons surely won't win three games from their last five, even if Forest don't pick up another single point.

To which, the appropriate response is something like: ARE YOU KIDDING? OF COURSE IT MATTERS.

History records seasons in terms of where clubs finish in the league. When all's said and done, match reports are forgotten and managers have indeed come and gone, a quick glance at the league table epitomises whole seasons in microcosm. Besides, it's about pride. Pride in going out to win and pride in finishing as high up the table as possible.

Things are bad enough at the moment anyway. Of course, it is unlikely that MK Dons will win three out of five games but might they win two out of four? That doesn't seem as unlikely now, does it? Were Forest to continue their own miserable run, it could come down to an unbearable final match of the season at Stadium: MK.

It's unlikely but then again, it was unlikely that Cheltenham would beat Doncaster while Forest squeezed out a win against Yeovil on that final day of the season. Unlikely but possible.

All this misrerabilist talk and doom-mongering can be dismissed with a win. It would be lovely to breathe easy again come Saturday tea-time.


If you're wondering where all this angst come from regarding a Rotherham V Forest fixture, this might explain things.