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Soccer News of Friday, 6 January 2023


Forest will keep fighting – Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi Taiwo Awoniyi

Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi says the Reds will take great heart from a first away win of the Premier League season following a 1-0 victory against Southampton on Wednesday evening.

The Nigeria international netted the winner at St Mary’s, a win which lifted Forest above the relegation zone heading into Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Blackpool.

After his man of the match display in the home draw with Chelsea on New Year’s Day, Awoniyi tapped home inside the Saints box to give Forest the lead after being set up by Brennan Johnson. It was his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

Speaking after the fixture, Awoniyi said he and his teammates will continue to push forward with confidence and belief following the midweek win on the south coast.

“We’ve been looking for this for a long time and the gaffer was saying to us that we have to improve our away form and we’re happy to have the three points.

“You have to work hard in every game in the Premier League and you’ll see the results if you keep going and keep fighting.

“We’re still in the process of becoming the team we want to be and we can’t stop now we’re out of the bottom three. We have to keep going, keep believing and fight for each other.

“It was a good press from the team for the goal, Brennan was brilliant with his energy and speed to get the ball into the box and I just had to be there to finish.”

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest will check on the fitness of Awoniyi ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Blackpool.

He was forced off with 20 minutes to go against Southampton having seemingly picked up a knock.

Head coach Steve Cooper hopes Awoniyi is just suffering from fatigue on the south coast, but will see how he is before the weekend’s trip to Bloomfield Road.

“It’s still early. We’re still assessing. The players are in a bit later today,” Cooper said.

“A couple of the lads walked off yesterday (Wednesday) with some fatigue. We’ll have to look at Taiwo, for example, and see how he is. It’s too soon, really, to see if there is anything worse than fatigue.”

Forest already have Moussa Niakhate, Omar Richards, Giulian Biancone and Cheikhou Kouyate as long-term absentees, while Jesse Lingard is facing a month on the side-lines.