Nottingham Forest duo James Garner and Joe Worrall looked gutted after the 1-1 draw with Hull on Saturday and Steve Cooper will now earn his coin.
The Reds took the lead through Brennan Johnson two minutes into stoppage time. Keane Lewis-Potter pounced with the final kick of the game, however, to restore parity.
Worrall and Garner were two players not to be handed a rest. Cooper made seven changes to his team but he persisted with the duo.
Both players did okay during the game too. It was something of a drab affair in large, with the stoppage-time drama the only incident of note.
As the Reds players came over to applaud the travelling support, Worrall and Garner cut disconsolate figures; devastated by Hull’s dramatic equaliser.
Worrall, 25, wears his heart on his sleeve anyway. He will be desperate to get the club he supported as a boy back into the Premier League for the first time in two decades.
If anything, him and Garner looking so gutted isn’t a bad thing. It shows that the bar is set high by the players and on Saturday the team fell short.
Garner and Worrall look gutted and Forest boss Cooper must now get to work
It’s perhaps a small worry that two players who are so influential looked so devastated after drawing a game that was essentially a dead rubber.
Now, Cooper must get to work. The big challenge ahead of the play-offs games against Sheffield United is to get his players focused on delivering two big performances.
Automatic promotion was always a long shot and the squad shouldn’t beat themselves up after missing out.
Forest have come a long way and they will need Garner and Worrall firing on all cylinders if they’re to overcome the Blades and reach the final.
Cooper has been in this position before. He knows what it takes to reach a Wembley final and Forest couldn’t have a better man in their dressing room this week.
Worrall and Garner have been brilliant and as a result, they shouldn’t feel so disappointed after Saturday’s draw.