Former Nottingham Forest ace Pierre van Hooijdonk is a huge fan of Brennan Johnson having branded him ‘fantastic’ head of the Championship playoff final.

Forest head to Wembley Stadium this afternoon as they take on Huddersfield Town in the playoff final.

Steve Cooper’s men are potentially just one game away from the Premier League.

Having spent more than 20 years outside of the top flight, this is the biggest opportunity Forest have had in some time.

Cooper has guided a quite remarkable season this term, dragging Forest from the depths of the Championship table under Chris Hughton.

Now facing a date with destiny, Forest will hopefully end the day as a Premier League club.

Pierre van Hooijdonk is a huge fan of Brennan Johnson

Forest will be relying on a number of key players to really turn up and make a difference at Wembley.

One of them will be attacker Johnson, who has been simply sensational for Forest this season.

Johnson has racked up 48 league appearances this season including the playoffs and has smashed 18 goals an 10 assists.

Johnson may only be 21 but he may well be the man that Forest depend on going forward.

Today’s game may also have far-reaching ramifications when it comes to Johnson’s future.

If Forest go up, Johnson is likely to stay at the City Ground. Should Forest miss out, Premier League vultures will be circling.

Johnson has earned praise from all corners this season and Pierre van Hooijdonk has now joined in.

Pierre Van Hooijdonk
3 May 1997: Pierre Van Hooijdonk of Nottingham Forest, surrounded by fans after the FA Carling Premier League match against Wimbledon at the City Ground in Nottingham, England. The game was drawn 1-1. \ Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey /Allsport

Dutchman Van Hooijdonk won promotion with Forest back in 1998, scoring 29 league goals to help the club go up.

Van Hooijdonk left under a cloud having forced a strike at Forest but he still holds the club close to his heart.

Van Hooijdonk has now told The Sun that he has been watching the playoffs and feels that Forest are simply better than Huddersfield.

There was praise for Johnson too as he called the Welshman ‘fantastic’ before suggesting that Forest will only lose if they choke on the big day – fingers crossed that doesn’t happen and that Johnson shines.

“I was watching it. Incredible! I love these end-of-season games,” said Van Hooijdonk. “I still felt part of it because it was Forest. I just hope they can get the job done now. I watched Huddersfield’s semi- final first leg against Luton and did not think they looked as good as Forest.”

“This is a very exciting team Steve Cooper has and up front Brennan Johnson is fantastic. The only way they will lose is if they choke. It can happen,” he added.

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