Sheffield United: Nottingham Forest handed a warning ahead of play-off second leg
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The message, ahead of Tuesday’s second-leg at the City Ground, was delivered by visiting manager Paul Heckingbottom and came after Sander Berge’s late strike during yesterday’s contest prevented Steve Cooper’s side from taking a two goal lead into the return fixture.
Although Heckingbottom admitted the 2-1 aggregate scoreline favours a Forest team which likes “to work on the counter” attack, he said: “It is set up nicely for them, yes. But if we get the first goal, then it changes, doesn't it. If we score the first goal against a team that likes to counter, then it’s set up nicely.”
Heckingbottom’s comment, designed to resonate as much with the travelling fans as inside United’s dressing room, also provided a clue as to how he plans to approach the trip to the east Midlands.
Although the 44-year-old wants his team to be aggressive - and show greater attention to detail than they demonstrated when Forest travelled to South Yorkshire - United are unlikely to chase the game either.
Cooper’s men deservedly won the opening instalment of the doubleheader between the division’s fifth and fourth ranked teams, with Jack Colback and Brennan Johnson scoring before Berge handed United a lifeline.
“You know how we are going to play,” Heckingbottom said. “We are going to try and win the game, as we always do. We know what Forest do and how they will approach it. The same as they know us.”