Nuno makes FFP 'distraction' admission amid Nottingham Forest and Everton uncertainty
Source: Nottinghampost

Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo admits the points deduction uncertainty affecting Nottingham Forest and relegation rivals Everton is a "distraction" for his team.

The Reds' clash against the Toffees at Goodison Park on Sunday is being billed as the Deduction Derby. Both clubs have been docked points for breaching Profitability and Sustainability Rules and are going through appeals processes.

Forest's appeal hearing over their four-point deduction is scheduled for next week. The Toffees have lodged an appeal against their two-point deduction for a second PSR breach, having already had a 10-point deduction reduced to six on appeal.

Nuno says now knowing how many points the Reds have and how many might be required for survival makes his job harder. And with the saga dragging on, there is the potential for the table to still be up in the air after the final round of fixtures on May 19 - with the Premier League's backstop date for sorting out both cases being May 24.

Asked if the uncertainty is affecting his players, Nuno said: "Of course. We cannot get away from that. We cannot hide ourselves. These things that we say about let's ignore the noise - the noise is there every day.

"When someone takes something from you, you are disappointed and upset, for sure. It is so hard to earn points in the Premier League, and when they take them away from you, you feel it. You have to react. I think we are doing that.

"It's a point of distraction. It doesn't just happen one day, it's continuous because every day there is something out about what can change - maybe we get the points back, maybe they take some. All these things are what causes the problem.

"We will speak again next week (in his press conference). You look back at how long we have been speaking about this."

As it stands, Forest are on 26 points and sit one point and one place below 16th-placed Everton. They are also just one point above the bottom three - although that could change ahead of kick-off on Merseyside as Luton Town host Brentford on Saturday.

Nuno has already called the PSR situation a "mess". However, he is confident there will not be a repeat next term as he hopes lessons will be learned.

"I'm sure it's not going to happen because I think it's been enough mess," he said. "They have to solve it. We cannot continuously deal with these situations.

"We have to go back to the reason behind the deduction of the points, which I am not aware of. I don't know so I can't give an opinion on this. But what I can tell you is that when you are playing in the season and you get this issue things become much harder because of the uncertainty and how it disturbs the whole harmony of the squad.

"It becomes about 'ifs'. We don't know how many points we have because we still have an appeal. Maybe we get the four points back and everything changes.

"It's very hard to manage this noise around you and this uncertainty you have. Us and Everton have been dealing with the same issues.

"We don't know how many points we have. Do we have 30? Let's forget about that and let's try to put points on our table.

"We have been having draws that, honestly, I think should have been wins. But we have five games to go, so let's focus on what we have ahead of us."

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