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1st March 2010

Leciester City 3-0 Nottingham Forest | Championship match report

As this season has worn on Leicester City’s initial hopes of survival after promotion from League One have developed into play-off ambitions. Eight games unbeaten topped off with this thumping victory, satisfying revenge for their 5-1 defeat at the City Ground earlier this season, means the Foxes are daring to set their sights higher.

“[Automatic promotion] is a nice thought but we have a very long way to go,” said Bruno Berner, the catalyst for City’s late surge against Forest. “We are on a very good run at the moment – eight games unbeaten, 16 points gained – that’s fantastic, but if there is an opportunity to move even further up, why not?”

Nigel Pearson’s side have been consistent in a division notorious for the opposite. Though optimists at the Walkers Stadium may be keen to bridge the nine-point gap that separates Leicester from second-placed West Bromwich Albion, the six-point margin that lies between the Foxes and the team in seventh is the one concerning the Leicester manager.

“We’ve gained a little bit of ground but what it illustrates is just how tough the league is,” Pearson said. “If you look at a team like Middlesbrough, they’ve not had a fantastic run but they’re still there or thereabouts. Historically, you’ll get a team coming out of the pack from mid-table and you’ll get clubs at the top having a bit of a wobble. It’s up to the rest of us to stay in the race.”

This was low-quality fare before Richie Wellens’s cute backheel created the opener for Berner and Forest fell apart. Paul Gallagher, with a curling free-kick,  and Andy King, turning home Berner’s cross-shot,  condemned the visitors to a fourth successive away defeat without scoring, a run that has put a sizeable dent in Forest’s automatic promotion hopes.

“With 12 games to go we’re in a very good position because quite frankly from where we came from nobody would have ever predicted we’d be one of the competing teams in the top eight,” said the Forest manager, Billy Davies. He has been keen to downplay his young side’s chances this season and though they are by no means out of the race for the top two slots, on this occasion when he said “this club is not ready for the Premier League” it was not hard to believe him.

Man of the match Paul Gallagher (Leicester City)


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