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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Sarah Clapson

Nottingham Forest warning for bitter rivals with Derby County staring at relegation

It didn’t take long for the memes, the GIFs and the "crying with laughter" emojis to get an airing on social media.

No sooner had news emerged of Derby County being hit with a new points penalty, Nottingham Forest fans took great delight in revelling in their arch-rivals’ misery.

After all, the Reds know from bitter experience what awaits the Rams.

Relegation is pretty much a certainty for Wayne Rooney’s side now. They are on -3 points - having been deducted 21 in total for financial breaches and going into administration - and are a massive 18 points adrift of safety.

They are heading for League One.

Few of a Forest persuasion are likely to have much sympathy for the plight of the club at the other end of Brian Clough Way. Many will feel Derby have finally got their comeuppance.

And they will know the bear-pit the Rams are about to fall into.

The Reds have been there, done that and got the t-shirt when it comes to the hard, gruelling nature of the third tier. They know full well just how difficult a division it is to get out of. It’s not a division for the faint hearted.

Forest dropped into League One in 2004/05 with Gary Megson at the helm, and spent three tough seasons there.

The first year, they narrowly missed out on the play-offs, finishing just two points outside of the top six. Then came that horrible defeat to Yeovil Town in the semi-finals before, finally, redemption.

There were wild scenes at the City Ground on the final day of the 2007/08 campaign. That it should come against the Glovers, with a 3-2 victory, made it all the sweeter as the Reds’ exile in League One was officially over.

Derby won’t be alone among big names in the third tier. Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan Athletic, Ipswich Town - all teams who have tasted glory days in the past who now find themselves stuck in that particular quagmire.

The Championship is a devil to get promoted from. But dropping into League One is a whole different kind of challenge.

It can be a slippery slope, too.

Forest will hope their rivals’ demise isn’t the only reason an East Midlands derby will be off the cards in the near future. While the Rams plummet, the Reds will aim to be heading in the opposite direction under the guidance of Steve Cooper.

If the meeting between the two teams on the banks of the Trent on January 22 does prove to be the last one for a while, Forest will be out to make it a memorable one.

Would you miss the East Midlands derby? Have your say in the comments below

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