Triple comeback in reserve tonight..

Comeback trio Nathan Tyson, Gary Holt and Scott Dobie are all expected to feature in Forest’s reserve clash with Birmingham City tonight at Solihull Borough.  Nathan Tyson, of course, already played 25 minutes in both a reserve friendly, and the weekends first team match against Brentford in his bid to regain full fitness, and will be keen to get plenty of games under his belt to build upon his fitness and match sharpness, particularly given his high-fallutin’ ambitions to top the Forest scoring table by the end of the season!

Dobie has shrugged off the latest of his many many injuries (this time a thigh injury), and is likely to partner Tyson up front – both players being predicted to take a place in the starting eleven in the fixture.  Which will certainly give our forward line for the evening a different dimension, and certainly a pacey one.  It gives Calderwood a good opportunity to tinker with is striking options as he begins to plan how best to keep so many fit strikers happy, and hopefully a sustained chance to assess the merits Dobie can bring to the team, given his injury record since Calderwood’s arrival.

Gary “three lungs” Holt has recovered following the surgery on his knee cartilage, he’s not been stated as a likely starter in the match, but is likely to feature in some capacity – given our run of form since his absence, he’s going to have to work hard to win his place back in the side, so I’m sure he’ll be keen to be involved in reserve team action as soon as possible to get back his fitness and start to press his claim to first team action again.  Good news all round!

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Owling mad Laws!

Former Forest fullback and Scunthorpe United boss Brian Laws has agreed terms to become manager of much-maligned Sheffield Wednesday.  He’s due to be unveiled at a press conference this afternoon at Hillsborough.  He’s been Scunthorpe boss since 1997 and losing the firey 45 year old will be a big blow to the Lincolnshire club, particularly so close to the January transfer window, Iron fans will be fearing some of their better players may be tempted to follow their old boss to Sheffield.

Bryan Robson was apparently shortlisted, but presumably to the relief of Wednesday fans later decided “It’s not the right challenge for me” – hmm, just what is then, Bryan? Developing a personality, perhaps?  Also in the frame were Nigel Worthington – who said he wasn’t interested, and they also failed in attempts to poach Burnley boss Steve Cotterill, and Barnsley boss Andy Ritchie, when both clubs refused to allow the Hillsborough club permission to speak to them.

A club Wednesday’s size represents a big challenge for Brian Laws – and I for one wish him well, certainly for those Forest fans who hankered after him when we had a managerial vacancy it will be interesting to see how he tackles what is, in effect, a similarly sized club with a similar weight of expectation upon it – good luck Lawsy, I think you’ll need it, but I’m sure there’ll be a few Forest fans keeping an eye out for Wednesday results from now on!

Calderwood’s biggest test yet..

Many managers would claim that the problem Smoulderwood faces is the envy of League One, but I think this will prove the biggest man-management test the Forest boss has had yet in his tenure at the City Ground.  Just what do you do with your seven increasingly available strikers, many of whom are the envy of our League One competitors?  It’s a real selection poser for the Reds boss – as amply demonstrated by his inclusion of no fewer than three strikers on the bench vs. Brentford on saturday.

I heard Smoulders on the radio this morning, and very diplomatically he stated: “I want to be fair with all our strikers, I want them all to feel valued, because I value them all equally.” – this is a step on the right lines, that’s for sure – he needs to be very cautious not to alienate the guys who’ve worked so hard to get us to where we are, just because Nathan Tyson happens to be back into the reckoning – but whether he can achieve that away from the radio microphone and on the training ground and in team selections is another matter entirely.

To be fair, the Forest job has been a millstone to many post-Clough managers, and certainly Smoulderwood has overcome obstacles he’s encountered so far, so I have confidence he’ll overcome this one too – but not every opponent will be so poor that you can get away with filling your bench with the abundance of attacking players we seem to have accrued, so how Colin proceeds will be interesting – perhaps this is where an extended run in the Johnstone’s and FA Cup could prove a useful outlet to ensure all our strikers get first team action.

We all have our own favourites, I’m sure Colin must at least have a vague idea what his “best pairing assuming they’re both fit and on form” would be, but he gets to not only see more of the players abilities on the training pitch, but gets a handle on their personalities and moods too – all of which add increasing layers of complexity on his selections.  I don’t envy him the job of keeping all his strikers happy when he has to disappoint the majority of them every match, but he seems to be relishing it, and seems to be be doing a good job so far!

Review of Forests’ official statistical history.

 

When you get your hands on Ken Smales’ updated historical book about Forest, you can feel it’s a pretty substantial coffee-table strainer of a hardback.  If you haven’t purchased one already, you won’t be able to – the limited edition hardback has sold out, it’s been that popular.  The book isn’t really something that you’d pick up and read cover to cover – or at least, I wouldn’t – more of a reference book of facts, figures and photographs.

A bonus feature of the copy I looked at were signed photos of notable Forest legends, and an inscription to the person who had pre-ordered it, a nice touch!  Probably the best thing about the book for somebody of my irreverent nature is the historical photos of Forest players of the past – our team photos used to be posed affairs, not like now where the entire squad line up in an orderly fashion infront of the stand, but they could be at a local beauty spot, some pose, Bruce Forsyth-esque with one hand propping their chin, the other behind them – it’s really hilarious!  And I haven’t even gotten onto the moustaches on display…

The other invaluable function this book gives you is every conceivable statistic ever – ideal for any Forest related posers people set you either in quizzes or just in the course of general Forest conversational musings.  Ken Smales’ labour of love comes highly recommended from me for any Forest supporters out there, even the most encyclopedic of anorak-wearing Forest fans will learn plenty from it, particularly since a big chunk of paperwork thought to have been destroyed in the 1960’s Main Stand fire were discovered safely stored in a Nat West bank vault, and are featured in the new book!

It’s available either in the Forest souvenir shop at the City Ground, or alternately you can purchase it online via The Forest website.