2023-01-24 22:30:55

Forest legends recall the day the magic died when they lost to Man United in 1992

Logo Daily Mail
Daily Mail
By Tom Collomosse

When they take on Manchester United on Wednesday night, Nottingham Forest will try to recreate the most magical era in the club's history ended abruptly by the same opponents more than three decades ago.

Forest are back in the semi-finals of a competition in which they enjoyed remarkable success under Brian Clough. They reached consecutive League Cup finals between 1978 and 1980 and three out of four between 1989 and 1992, picking up the trophy four times.

Yet when they met United at Wembley in 1992, the players were starting to feel the old spark was missing. A year later, Forest were relegated and Clough retired. Their fortunes have fluctuated in the intervening years without ever emulating Clough's teams.

Those with Forest in their blood can feel the revival under Steve Cooper, just as they sensed those good times coming to an end.

'It was during the early part of the decline of that team,' says Brian Laws, who came on as a first-half substitute in the 1992 final shortly after Brian McClair scored the only goal for United. 'Cloughie was desperate to win it but he wasn't in great shape and some of his decision-making was starting to look a bit odd.

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