For a lower league side, there is usually excitement when the TV cameras roll into town. Not for Forest Green Rovers.
Forest Green have won just five of their last 22 televised games – a record stretching back to 2015. Those games have been televised across Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC One.
Rovers fans will be hoping that they avoid the TV curse again, when they travel to Colchester United tonight (March 21), in a game being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event.
It’s not even as if the televised games have been against higher-placed sides in cup competitions. Of those 22 matches, 21 have been against teams who, at the time, were in the same division as Rovers. The other game was a defeat to National League South side St Albans City in the FA Cup this season.
Rovers’ last win in front of the TV cameras was in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Newport County in the 2021 League Two play-off semi-finals, but they lost the tie on aggregate. You have to go back to New Years’ Day 2016 to find Forest Green’s last win in a regular league game on TV – a 3-1 triumph over Torquay United in the National League.
Forest Green boss Rob Edwards – appointed as head coach in May 2021 – has only managed in two televised games, although both have ended in defeat.
“The two games we’ve had televised this year haven’t gone the way we’ve wanted them to go,” admitted Edwards. “We hope that will change on Monday.
“I’ve not sensed anything different or a change in the mindset during those games. The performance against Swindon earlier in the season wasn’t bad. It was a tight, fairly even game, and they had the big moments. Their ‘keeper made some big saves and they were ruthless on the day, so from a performance point of view, it didn’t affect us.
“Against St Albans, that was the only time I’ve made a few tweaks, and I took full responsibility for the loss.
“We certainly want to get back to winning ways, and what better way to do it than live on the TV.”