Nottingham Forest forward Jamie Ward says that the experienced players could play a key role in helping The Reds to secure safety against Ipswich Town tomorrow.
Ward says it is up to him and other of the more senior members of the squad to help the younger players through the high-pressure game in front of a packed City Ground.
He said: “I think the younger ones may get a bit nervous. The older ones, we have played football for a long time and hopefully we know what it takes to get the team through. We have a lot of experience that can play on Sunday and all we can do is try and help the younger lads through. If the ball is there to be cleared, clear it and make sure it doesn’t end up in our net and make sure we put it in theirs.
“I’d love to play. I don’t like coming out of the team but I understand why he changed me for Britt. I don’t think my performances warranted coming out of the team but that is the manager’s decision and we have to go with it. I have worked hard in training and hopefully I will get the chance on Sunday. If not, I will be waiting on the sidelines ready to get on. That is probably going to be the hardest bit as if I’m not playing I will be kicking every ball. If I get on I will try my best and do what I think I do well.
“Our preparation hasn’t really been any different. Obviously we know what is riding on the game but it is important that we prepare right and train well all through the week. There is no point worrying about it as you have got to work hard. The players are as bubbly as ever and hopefully we can take how we have trained this week onto the pitch and go from there.
“We will do as the manager says. We know his style of football and that is to try and score as many goals as we can. We just need to go out there, play football and do what we are good at.”
Ward says that relegation would hurt the players and he is determined not to feel the embarrassment of seeing The Reds fall out of the division.
He said: “I haven’t thought about relegation; you can’t let it affect you. You still have the game to play, Blackburn have to win and the pressure is riding on them. They have a tough game against Brentford and we saw how good they are when they came here. They have a good home record so hopefully Brentford turn up for us but if we turn up we don’t have to worry about that result.
“It is a lot of nonsense to say that we don’t care as it all lies on your shoulders. Nobody wants to relegated or to lose. There is a lot of pressure on us but it would hurt me; I probably wouldn’t go out for most of the summer as I would be embarrassed walking out of here on Sunday night if the worst would happen.
“The fans can get behind us, do it for 90 minutes and if it isn’t good enough at the end of the game then we apologise; the season has not gone the way we want it but if is the right result let’s forget about it and move on to next season.”