Joe Worrall has only been back at Nottingham Forest for one day and he’s already stoked up the fire with fierce rivals Derby County.
The Reds defender has told Nottinghamshire Live that he and his team-mates will be ‘rooting’ for Aston Villa in their Championship play-off final with the Rams on Monday.
Worrall will return to the Forest squad ahead of the 2019/20 campaign after a solid season on loan with Rangers.
He played 32 games for the Light Blues and enjoyed a decent spell under Steven Gerrard’s management, becoming a key part of the team.
Ahead of Monday’s multi-million-pound game, Worrall insists he would like the Forest rivalry with Derby to remain intact.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “We will definitely be rooting for Villa in the play-off final, won’t we?
“To be honest I watched the Leeds and Derby semi-final and you didn’t really want either of them to win. You would probably lean towards Leeds, just about.
“Fair play to Derby though, they won on merit and they reached the play-offs on merit. Ideally, you would want Villa to win on Monday though, wouldn’t you?”
Worrall’s cheeky comment doesn’t come without an element of serious thought, however, and claims Forest must try to emulate their success next season.
He continued: “As a Forest fan you don’t want to see Derby go into the Premier League. From a selfish point of view, it’s good to have the East Midlands rivalry and we want that again next season.
“If they do get promotion, then hopefully we can do it ourselves next season and join them in the Premier League, to resume the rivalry there.”
The Seat Pitch Verdict
You have to admire Worrall’s honesty, although it might just do Frank Lampard’s team-talk for him on Monday afternoon.
Derby would like nothing more than to get the ultimate revenge on Forest for their win over the Rams in February by leaving them behind in the Championship.
The Rams failed to take a point or a score a single goal against the Reds during 2018/19. That obviously won’t bother them one bit if they can overcome Aston Villa at Wembley.
For Worrall, his focus must be solely fixed on winning a place in Martin O’Neill’s team for next season. With 56 Forest games under his belt already, he will hope that his loan spell has put him in good stead for next season.