Carlisle United vs. Forest preview..

Hot on the heels of talking about practically nothing but the Chelsea cup game, we’ve signed two players which has naturally drawn attention away from tomorrow’s important trip to Carlisle.  Neither Prutton nor Chambers are eligible to take part in the fixture due to signing for us too late – so Smoulds will not have the luxury of experimenting with his new acquisitions at least until Saturday’s game at Bradford.

Carlisle are on a shaky run, they’ve only won one in the last four league games – but then again, so have we – albeit more recently against Yeovil Town in our last home game.  United occupy 10th place in the table, and have a number of injury concerns which will be troubling their selection – Atkin and Lumsdon are ruled out, whilst Smith and Murray are both also doubts, but have a chance of featuring against us.

We emerge from a rather uninspiring showing against Chelsea at the weekend with no injuries or suspensions – Sammy Clingan’s harsh booking at Stamford Bridge earning him a suspension for the Northampton home game – so aside for the new boys we have a full squad to choose from, which is good news.  Given that we’ve dropped to fourth in the league this game becomes hugely significant, as it is one of our games in hand over Scunthorpe.  Bristol City are also in action tomorrow, at home to Cheltenham which has home win written all over it – meaning that it’s all the more important we pick up points.

Top scorer Grant Holt is of course a native of Carlisle, so will undoubtedly be keen to impress against his home town club – that is, of course, if Smoulderwood opts to play him upfront instead of in the bizarre left wing/left back position he found himself at the weekend.  The midfield will need to be on their toes too, knowing that Prutton is waiting in the wings to claim a place in the starting eleven.

I’m hoping to see a similar lineup as against Chelsea, but swapping Grant Holt with Nathan Tyson, and Sammy Clingan to replace Gary Holt in the starting eleven.  Having said that, I’m certainly hoping for a vastly improved performance from the lads – hopefully the Carlisle scouts opted for the easy option of watching our last game on TV and believe us to be the hapless disorganised team that turned up in the cup!

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Forest finally land Chambers..

Shortly after the great news of Prutton agreeing terms with us, it’s been confirmed that long time Smoulderwood target Luke Chambers has also finally completed his move to Forest.  The young defender has signed a two and a half year deal, and arrives for an undisclosed fee from fellow League One side Northampton Town.  As with Prutton, he’s joined too late to feature against Carlisle tomorrow night, so is likely to make his debut against Bradford on Saturday.

Adding a bit of youth to the defence is a good move, particularly given that Cullip seems to have been frozen out of first team duties lately – and certainly two incoming players will do much to satisfy the increasingly grizzling Forest fans (self included!) who were getting impatient with the lack of activity – it would appear that Smoulderwood has bided his time and landed two key targets without paying over the odds, which in my book is good management, assuming – of course – that both players settle in and live up to their billing!

It was widely thought that originally a deal was on the table involving a Forest player going the other way (rumoured to be Jack Lester), but with that deal collapsing another was quickly instigated and we’ve landed our target – who was captain of the Cobblers despite his tender years.  I’m pleased we’ve signed him, rumours of loan targets like Mark Yeates would make be very happy indeed if they turned out to be true also.  My only fear is that by adding a further central defender to the ranks we may see a return of the dreaded back three formation!

Prutton is back!

After a seemingly ridiculous courtship, Forest have finally confirmed they have indeed secured the services of David Prutton for a second spell at the club.  The battling midfielder is of course a product of our youth academy, he’s signed initially on loan until the end of the season – where he’s out of contract with Southampton (thanks Tom), presumably if we got promotion then we will enjoy his services beyond this season.

Prutts has Premiership experience with Southampton, but has fallen out of favour with manager George Burley after spending time out with an ankle injury earlier in the season.  It’s thought we pipped both Hull and Leeds to signing him, and I’m sure both he and the fans will be keen to rekindle the relationship they had during his first spell here, when he was somewhat of a fans favourite.

Hopefully this won’t be the end of the transfer news today or tomorrow – but certainly the signing appears to have given the message boards a huge lift in the post-Chelsea gloom, so well done to Smoulders and crew for sticking to their guns and delivering a signing that has sparked genuine excitement.  Having said that, I for one won’t be happy if this is our only activity during the transfer window.

Welcome back, Prutts – although the referees are really shit at this level, so try not to hit any of them!