Chairman's column: Nottingham Forest

15th September 2018

Read Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins' programme notes for today's clash with Nottingham Forest.

With the first international break of this season out of the way, today’s game against Nottingham Forest is the first of three really tough games for us within a week.

Following this afternoon’s game, we head to Stoke City on Tuesday and then Middlesbrough on Saturday. This run of games typifies just how strong the Championship is.

Looking back to our last match at Millwall, and considering how difficult most teams find playing at The Den, nothing we face this season will be as daunting as the first 45 minutes we encountered there.

Playing at Millwall is hard enough, but things got even tougher when Courtney Baker-Richardson was sent off after five minutes.

Then we lost our captain Leroy Fer to injury and our fans probably feared the worst.

But like so many times before, our players rose to the challenge they faced and were rewarded for their effort with three points and a huge psychological boost for all involved.

I think it is very important that I highlight the pleasure we must all feel seeing so many of our under-23 squad stepping up to the challenge of Championship football. Hopefully, with a little luck, they will continue to grow and develop as the season unfolds.

Graham and his staff have shown tremendous faith in the group of young players we now have here at Swansea City and, with added faith and support from everyone within the club, I believe the current togetherness and spirit we have developed can only get stronger.

Those elements can build momentum for the important months of Championship football that lie ahead.

A warm welcome to all directors, staff, players and supporters of Nottingham Forest who have made the trip to South Wales for today’s game.

No doubt this game will bring back some fond memories for us Swans fans.

It seems such a long time ago now but, when I think of those play-off semi-final games at the City Ground and here at the Liberty in 2011, I still feel a strong sense of pride.

Without a shadow of doubt, it was one of the best times as a Swansea City supporter I can remember since I first started watching the team over 50 years ago.

The challenge that lies ahead for the club over the next few seasons is a massive one for many reasons – both on and off the pitch.

But the challenge will be insurmountable if we don’t face up to it together with a solid collective belief and one common aim.

Enjoy the game.