MARCUS Tudgay is finding out the hard way that football can be a cruel business.
In the space of 12 months, the striker has endured two painful experiences on the pitch.
Although he finished up the club’s top scorer with 10 goals last season, Tudgay could not stop Sheffield Wednesday from slipping out of the Championship on the final day of the season after a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
Having fallen down in the pecking order at Hillsborough, Tudgay moved to Nottingham Forest in November. He had scored 50 times in just over 200 appearances for the South Yorkshire club.
Tudgay signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at Forest in the New Year and a transfer fee of around £500,000 was agreed between the two clubs.
He then played a pivotal role in ensuring Billy Davies’ men cemented a top-six spot, scoring against Leicester and Palace.
But, Tudgay and Forest missed out on a lucrative trip to Wembley after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Swansea City in the semi-finals of the Championship Play-offs this week.
The 28-year-old was brought on as a sub in the first leg, which ended goalless.
He started up front in South Wales on Monday
and was at fault for the Swans opener when midfielder Leon Britton deceived him with a beautiful piece of skill before curling in a superb left foot shot into the top corner.
Tudgay also spurned a great opportunity after the break to reduce Forest’s arrears, blazing his effort over the top when well-placed.
By contrast, Britton and Swansea are just 90 minutes away from the promised land of the Premier League.
Britton, who returned to the club in January after a spell with Sheffield United, described it as an ‘unbelievable feeling’ to reach the final.
United are in line to pocket an undisclosed financial payment should the Swans go up.
The Star understands the Blades inserted a clause in Britton’s contract, guaranteeing the club some cash if Swansea are promoted within the duration of his deal.