Smoulderwood gets local media coverage!

David Jackson of Radio Nottingham is my new hero – for how he opened tonight’s Matchtalk programme, which featured Colin Smoulderwood as a special guest to take questions from the fans.   I emailed them a few days ago, and amazingly the email was used to open the programme; much to my amusement, and the apparent bemusement of the Smouldering one – the email I sent was worded thusly:

“Is Colin aware of his “Smoulderwood” nickname born from the article about him in the Guardian at the start of the season? If so, what does he think about it?”

He seemed a bit non-plussed really, but fortunately David went on to read the opening paragraph of Georgina Turner’s “Mills and Boon” style (as he described it) interview, which is basically like the introduction to a soft porn scene – well, it made me chuckle anyway. Radio Nottingham, thankfully, have a ‘listen again’ feature for Matchtalk – so if you follow this link in a day or so you should be able to enjoy the programme in full – it was a really interesting interview, Smoulds came across really well.

John McGovern provides Clough gig boost

European Cup winning captain John McGovern has provided a huge boost to the ‘Clough Aid’ gig happening later this month by agreeing to take to the stage and act as compere for the event.  John remains well known for his work with the local media as a match summariser, and a fairly prolific after dinner speaker as well – but perhaps less well known is his love of music, including a friendship with the rock band AC/DC, and his son is also a musician in band ‘Scrim’.

McGovern said:

“I worked with Brian Clough for over a decade on and off, he was the single biggest inspiration I ever had in my footballing career – so I’m pleased to be able to lend my support to Clough Aid.  The night is certainly right up my street.  It probably won’t surprise anyone if I said I couldn’t live without football, but I couldn’t live without music either!”

Part of the challenge set to the bands on is to perform a version of a song made famous by Frank Sinatra, Cloughie’s favourite singer.  Tickets are still available at only £5 each from either the Rock City box office on Talbot Street, or from Selectadisc Records on Market Street – or they can be booked online via www.ltlf.co.uk/clough.  You can find out more information about the event from their MySpace site: www.myspace.com/briancloughaid.

Get yourself tickets and get down there – it promises to be a great night!

Salisbury replay ticket information

Forest are opening the Main Stand, and the lower tier of both the Trent End and Brian Clough stand for Tuesday 12th December’s cup tie with Salisbury City.  The decision to keep the upper tiers closed presumably due to the decision of Sky to televise the fixture – so the City Ground will make for an interestingly empty stage for the game.  They will go immediately on general sale from tomorrow – I can’t imagine there will be any difficulty in getting a ticket, however!

There is some price differential – £15 will get you an adult ticket for the Main Stand, whereas you can sit in the Trent End or Brian Clough stand for just £10.  Senior citizens are £5 across the board, and under 16’s are just £2 – presumably the differential pricing is to lure people to sit in the seats that will be visible on the majority of TV footage.  I might go for the Brian Clough stand, I’ve not sat in there for ages.  I don’t suppose we can complain too much at the prices, £10 isn’t much at the end of the day.

I can’t imagine there’ll be a massive attendance though; whilst the lure for the Salisbury supporters will be big, the midweekness of the fixture at short notice just before Christmas isn’t likely to tempt them too much.

Smoulds: We must do better

Smoulderwood has unsurprisingly called for his Forest side to step up a gear for the cup replay against Salisbury City.  The manager was gracious in defeat and fairly kind in his judgement of the Forest side who couldn’t overcome their non-League opponents.  Any question, however, of him accepting a similar scoreline at the City Ground he has fairly quickly quashed.

“If there is such a thing as an advantage at home, we have to go and prove it,” he said. “That is what I have said to the boys after the match.

“There is no use complaining that the wind and conditions made a difference, we have to prove that this was their day, we have to prove that.

“It was not a surprise, the performance they produced – we had done our homework, I knew the level of team we were playing, I expected a tough game. They were better than Yeading, which is why they are up towards the top of the league.

“In all honesty, we are happy to still be in. We look solid enough and determined enough to get the job done, which is what we have to do in the replay.”

I think he perhaps underplays the effect of the conditions on the day; certainly the swirling wind had a hand in forcing nearly all Pedersen’s clearances out to touch – but having said that, Salisbury also had to play in the same conditions as us, and whether they’re more used to it or not, you would hope that our professional footballers would be able to handle a bit of wind and mud!

Kris: We’ll do ’em at the City Ground

Kris Commons has vowed to the Nottingham Evening Post that Forest will come back stronger against Salisbury City in the replay at the City Ground in eight days time.  The midfielder – who won player of the round for the first round – had a disappointing game on the mudpatch that Salisbury play on, and will be keen to make amends when we are reunited with them.

”Give them credit they worked hard and gave us a really good game. But, hopefully, with the home advantage we should get through this and set up a tie against Reidy and Charlton.

”It was one of those games – in the FA Cup, it was a battle for us. We always knew it would be a tough game, but with the condition of the pitch, the cameras and the home fans, everything was against us.”

Hopefully the fact that he clearly has half an eye on the next round won’t lead to some complacency from the Forest boys; although the idea of seeing Reidy back at the City Ground is a nice one, we should be cautious (a) of getting past the second round and (b) once we do, whilst Charlton may be floundering at the foot of the Premiership, Reidy himself is on pretty good form.

Argh! Sky are showing the replay!!

It’s just been confirmed that our replay with Salisbury City at the City Ground is to be featured live on Sky Sports.  The game on 12th December will be played infront of the cursed Sky cameras, which I must confess has caused a slight dent in my confidence; that said, we beat West Ham on Sky not all that long ago – albeit with divine intervention – so all this talk of a ‘Sky curse’ or similar is a tad melodramatic in my opinion.

Salisbury of course will be thrilled – not only will they get a share of the gate spoils but will presumably also pick up some TV cash from Sky to supplement the BBC fee – all in all a payday bonanza for them, particularly if – God forbid – they manage to cause an upset as they are bound to be a candidate for further televisual appearances against Charlton in the next round!  For Forest, I suppose, it is an opportunity to put to bed the idea of a Sky curse.  Or for further national humiliation.

Tubbs diving explained!

I uttered a few choice words at Matt Tubbs yesterday during the coverage of our game with Salisbury; and not particularly when he scored – which he took really very well – but a couple of times he went to ground very easily as a result of challenges that Ronaldo would’ve stood up to – it was frustrating because the referee fell for it every time, despite ignoring Grant Holt being sent four feet in the air at the opposite end of the pitch.

But thanks to this nauseating article in the Mirror, it has all become apparent – you see, Tubbs is a lifeguard, so diving is second nature to him – so it’s a bit more forgivable perhaps that he takes this tendency with him onto the pitch!  It’s well worth reading the rest of the Mirror article too, it talks of such amusing cliches of the “mud and nettles of Salisbury Plain”, and faced with Tubbs how our centrebacks needed to “stand like the monoliths of Stonehenge.”  Brilliant stuff!

It’s a real signal as to how low we’ve fallen that this game has probably had more media coverage than any this season – and apparently we’re supposed to be the “giants” – but still; in a little over a week the fixture will be over in one way or another, and whilst I clearly felt a little too confident for the away game, I can’t help but think that on a decent pitch we should easily have the measure of Salisbury City.