Joe Worrall insists he would be “massively disappointed” if Nottingham Forest’s arch rivals Derby County were relegated this season.
Derby’s hopes of staying in the Championship are currently hanging by a thread having won only one of their last 13 games and lost their five on the spin.
The Rams sit one place above the relegation zone on 43 points, with Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United both on 39 points. Rotherham have a game in hand, though, and Derby face Wednesday on the final day of the season.
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It promises to be a strange afternoon for Forest this weekend. The Reds – who mathematically secured safety last Saturday – take on Wednesday at Hillsborough, and a win for the Owls could see them drag Derby into further danger if the Rams fail to pick up a victory at Swansea City.
A win for Forest at Hillsborough, of course, would see Wednesday drop into League One, and a draw could also see them go down if results go against them.
The rivalry between Forest and Derby is huge, and Worrall is someone who is more than aware of that having been a boyhood Reds supporter growing up.
But speaking to The Athletic after last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Stoke City, he explained why he would be “massively disappointed” if the Rams were relegated from the Championship.
He said: “I would be massively disappointed if there was no East Midlands derby next season.
“It would be fantastic if they do go down, in one sense. But I also want to play against Derby, I want to score against Derby, I want to beat Derby.
“If you are asking me if I want them to go down, no I do not.”
This is likely to be a debate which splits Forest fans right down the middle.
On one hand, fans would love to see Derby drop into League One due to the bragging rights and the rivalry.
But having spent the last year-and-a-half away from stadiums, you live for derby matches, and having missed out on that for a lengthy period of time, they will be eager to see those type of games next season.