BOSS Billy Davies is confident Nottingham Forest can win promotion to the Barclays Premier League, insisting: “This is our time.”
The Reds were held to a goalless draw at the City Ground in the first leg of their play-off semi-final despite Swansea being handicapped by the first-minute sending off of Neil Taylor.
The Welsh side are now favourites to reach the final at Wembley on May 30 ahead of the return game at the Liberty Stadium tonight.
Swansea boast the best home record in the npower Championship this season, winning 50 points on their own patch — three of which came courtesy of a 3-2 victory over Forest in March.
But Davies believes his team will get through to face the winners of the Reading v Cardiff semi-final, who meet in Wales tomorrow having drawn 0-0 at the Madejski.
“The tie was never going to be over after the first game,” said Davies, who has been involved in four other Championship play-offs and triumphed with Derby in 2007.
“The players were a bit frustrated after Thursday night because we should have got a goal or two in the second half. But we won‘t have to lift the players at all, absolutely not.
“I am full of optimism. We were a tired side last time we went to Swansea and, even as a tired side, we created a host of chances.
“I genuinely feel we will create chances and we can score goals on Monday. I am very confident. I know it is not over. I know there is no favourite.
“I am full of optimism because I feel this is our time. I know we will go down there and produce a good performance.
“You have to handle the expectation, home and away. I have been through this many times. Things can change quickly and Swansea will know this is far from over.”
Davies also raised questions as to how much Thursday night’s exertions will have taken out of the Swansea players, having played virtually the whole of the first leg with 10 men.
He added: “Physically they will be the more tired team. It was a big ask to play with 10 men for such a long time.
“We will see on Monday how much it has affected them.”
Davies has options ahead of the trip to south Wales. The Scot could have a full-strength squad if midfielder Guy Moussi and striker Robbie Findley recover from respective calf and thigh problems.
Both players missed the first leg at the City Ground but Davies is hopeful that at least one of them will be fit for the game.
Swansea’s Taylor will only discover this morning if he is able to play as he awaits the outcome of an appeal into his first-leg dismissal.
Swans boss Brendan Rodgers has received a big boost ahead of the decisive sellout encounter in south Wales.
Influential on-loan Chelsea striker Fabio Borini is expected to be fit having limped off at the City Ground carrying a suspected hamstring injury, with the Italian returning to training yesterday nursing only bruising.
Borini has six goals in 10 games since arriving from Stamford Bridge in mid-March, including two on his debut against Forest in their league meeting at the Liberty, which Swansea won 3-2.
“Fabio is fine,” Rodgers said.
“He’s had a scan and there is slight bruising around the hamstring but it shouldn’t be a problem and he’ll be back in training on Sunday.”
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