Nottingham Forest blog: Trevor Francis is the perfect role model for modern-day footballers

Trevor Francis is appointed new manager of Sheffield Wednesday 18th June 1991
Trevor Francis is appointed new manager of Sheffield Wednesday 18th June 1991

Forest returned to the West Midlands for the second time in seven days following last week’s victory over Wolves.

Birmingham City were the hosts and provided a very tough test under the stewardship of new boss Gary Rowett.

Both sets of players were massively overshadowed by the guest appearance of Trevor Francis, who is a living legend at both Forest and Birmingham City, and who led the sides onto the turf at St Andrews.

If I was to tell you that he only ever scored 28 times for Forest you may well be surprised, however it was that one important goal that will never be forgotten.

That famous diving header in Munich was his very first game in the European Cup too, he was not permitted to play until the final.

The sheer pressure he was under as the world record signing was immense, but just like Gareth Bale for Madrid last season, he stepped up and delivered on the biggest stage.

Bale is very similar to Mr Francis in the way that he conducts himself, modest, hard working and very humble.

Something that is lacking in about 90 per cent of today’s so called professionals.

The sheer presence of this great player was there to remind us all, not just how to play the game so brilliantly; but more importantly of how to keep your head above the surface in a sea of pound notes!

The actual game between City and Forest was nothing to shout about, after the lord mayor’s show to be honest.

Mainly due to the negativity of the home side, but when you don’t have the riches of Forest, I suppose you have to play to your strengths.

There was nothing negative about David Cotteril’s 10th minute opener for Birmingham.

Forest were tightly marked all over the field and chances were few and far between.

Tom Ince was booked before he even took to the field as fellow sub Dexter Blackstock had prevented Birmingham from taking a quick throw and referee Geoff Eltringham took a wild guess and penalised the wrong man.

In the 84th minute Brit Assombalonga headed a lovely equaliser from Paterson’s flick on, once again Paterson created more than burke after warming the bench. It looked like job done, but Assombalonga went from hero to zero in just four minutes. He punched a Birmingham player’s goalbound header over the bar, and was eventually sent off thanks to an eagle-eyed fourth official. Caddis beat Darlow from the spot and gave the home side all three points.

Charlton are the visitors to the City Ground next Saturday and there can be no other way to say it, it’s a must win fixture!