Play-off glory for Hucknall's Joe Worrall and Nottingham Forest as they win promotion to the Premier League

Hucknall hero Joe Worrall was full of pride and emotion after Nottingham Forest ended their 23-year wait to return to the Premier League.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 11:28 am

Forest beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 through Levi Colwill’s own-goal in the EFL Championship play-off final at Wembley to seal glory in front of thousands of ecstatic fans.

However, the Reds had to soak up some tough second half pressure from their opponents, who also felt they should have had two penalties, but referee Jon Moss and the VAR ruled in Forest’s favour both times.

Speaking to Sky Sports straight after the game, Worrall said: “I’m just proud, just so, so proud of the players, the staff and the fans.

Forest skipper Joe Worrall lifts the trophy following their win over Huddersfield Town in in the EFL Championship play-off final. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

"We’ve been fantastic all season and we were unlucky, really, really unlucky not go up automatically, in my opinion, I thought we were really good value, we played with honesty and we played football the right way, it’s incredible.”

Worrall also said he and the players had felt the yearning of the fans to get back to the top flight as the season had gone on.

He continued: “As I keep saying, we’ve been really good, not just this season and I’m not saying we’ve been good in previous seasons because we’ve not.

"But it’s been a long time that this club hasn’t been in the top flight and we’ve seen a lot of good people come and go and they’ve all added a little bit to this football club.

"And this now is fantastic, it’s just such an honour to captain Forest.

"I was always confident we could see out the game, even in the second half when Huddersfield were pressing.

"We don’t mind suffering, we’ve suffered for a long time off the pitch, so half an hour in this game was nothing compared to what we’ve suffered for so many years.

"I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who had helped us, everybody."

Worrall also had special words of praise for Forest boss Steve Cooper who took over last September with Forest bottom of the league.

He said: "He’s such a nice bloke and he’s failed twice in the play-offs before so I’m made up for him that we’ve done this.

"You can see it in his eyes when he talks to you in the dressing room and around the place.

"He calls me on my days off and I see it’s Steve Cooper and I think ‘what does he want?’

"And he’s just checking up on me, he checks up on all the other players and it’s fantastic.

"These little things that people don’t know about, he’s a really nice genuine man and I’m made up for him.

"We were bottom of the league when he took over and he’s just given us that belief.

"I keep using the expression that we were like a whipped dog.

"If you treat any dog with kindness then they become a nice dog and if you treat them badly, they become aggressive.

"We were a mistreated team and he came in and gave us that hope and belief and treated us with kindness and the fans absolutely adore him and he’s been immense.”

Cooper, also speaking to Sky Sports, said: “I'm really pleased for the players and the supporters.

"I think we played well in the first half and of all the good goals we've scored this season, we get one like that – but it doesn't matter.

"And we managed to see it through.

"Everyone connected to this football club deserves this and we're looking forward to a positive future.”

Forest legend Stuart Pearce, who was one of the pundits on the live TV coverage of the game, was also delighted and said Forest would be a ‘credit to the Premier League’.

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