Brennan Johnson has unfinished family business as he bids to fire Forest into Prem … after legend dad David failed to

BRENNAN JOHNSON hopes to make dad David proud today by finishing some unfinished family business.

Nottingham Forest legend David Johnson, 45, has always been gutted he could not shoot the club back into the Premier League when they lost in the play-off semi-finals to Sheffield United back in 2003.

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Brennan Johnson celebrates Forest’s shootout triumph with keeper Brice Samba
David Johnson with his son Brennan who has followed in his Forest footsteps

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David Johnson with his son Brennan who has followed in his Forest footsteps

Johnson snr scored twice but they got edged out 5-4 on aggregate.

But 19 years later his boy also netted twice against the Blades – only this time they prevailed after winning a thrilling tie on penalties – and today only Huddersfield stand in their way of returning to the top flight after 23 years.

And Johnson snr told SunSport: “Wembley is the mecca of world football and I’m going to be so nervous watching Brennan playing there in front of almost 90,000.

“It’s been tough watching him play because I can’t control anything. I just tell him, ‘Express yourself and enjoy it.’ Then everything is down to him.

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“If it’s anything to go by last Tuesday night at the City Ground against Sheffield United it’s going to be a horrendous 90 minutes to watch.

“When you’re in such a huge arena at such a young age in a big occasion, it’s tough. But Brennan can’t wait and this could be a defining moment in his career. ”

Johnson Jr netted in the first leg in a 2-1 win over the Blades and put Forest 3-1 up on aggregate early on in the second leg but a stunning comeback brought the scores back to 3-3 before keeper Brice Samba saved three penalties in the shootout.

And his dad, who came through the Manchester United ranks with the likes of David Beckham, said: “Brennan has never been nervous before but he told me that the second half and extra-time was the worst experience he has had.

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Young Brennan Johnson (second left) with his dad as one of the Forest mascots

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Young Brennan Johnson (second left) with his dad as one of the Forest mascots
Brennan Johnson and his proud dad and Forest legend David Johnson

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Brennan Johnson and his proud dad and Forest legend David Johnson
David Johnson and the SkyBet Championship play-off trophy

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David Johnson and the SkyBet Championship play-off trophy

“That just shows you that the occasion at times can take over you.”

Johnson Sr believes Forest will prevail against a Huddersfield team who will try to spoil their opponents’ attacking football.

He said: “I think we’ll do it. We’ll play on the front foot and play exciting football. Hopefully the big pitch will exploit the gaps behind Huddersfield. Forest have the goals in their team and I’m predicting a 2-1 win. ”

Whatever happens today, it’s been an excellent breakthrough season for his son.

After spending last season on loan at Lincoln, where he lost at Wembley in the League One play-off final to Blackpool, Johnson jnr has been one of the stars of a stunning campaign which has seen the team rise from the bottom of the table to today’s final since Steve Cooper took charge in September.

And his dad explained: “Steve worked out Brennan’s personality quickly. He’s quiet and laid back – and you don’t really have to say much to him

“They have their one-on-ones and he wants to learn. But sometimes when he hasn’t been playing well, he has to give Brennan a look to say, ‘come on, up your game’.

“Brennan has virtually played every game and they have that trust between them. So if his level drops, the manager will let him know. ”

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For a local boy like Johnson, the promotion will be huge and his dad added: “It’s a club defining moment. It’ll literally change the face of Nottingham to be back in the Premier League.

“It’s make-or-break. It’s big and this is an opportunity they can’t miss – but the desire of Brennan and all the players to make history will be there. ”

DAVID JOHNSON was speaking on behalf of EFL sponsor Sky Bet as part of their Step Up campaign.

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