Eoin Jess returns as a coach..

jessjpg.jpgEoin Jess has retured from playing football now, his last club being Northampton Town – where Smoulds snapped him up having been released by the mighty Reds.  He arrived here and – I’m being kind here – never exactly set the world on fire.  He was quickly singled out by supporters as someone to give stick to, and never really found any kind of form in a Forest shirt in 93 appearances from 2002 to 2005.

He’s studying for his coaching badges, and Forest have very kindly offered him an opportunity to work part time for the Forest Academy.  He’s going to be coaching our under 13 side in order to gain experience, which is interesting since his last role at Forest was scaring children at the annual Forest open days (according to a friend with a couple of young daughters, he was particularly good at this role!).

Since he’s coaching mostly pre-teens it’s going to be some time before we see any benefit, if there is any, to his early coaching abilities – but good look to him, whilst I was never particularly fond of him as a Forest player, it’s good that we are prepared to give opportunities to retired players who hopefully have what it takes to be decent coaches – and since both our coaching staff and Smoulders himself will know about his temperament and likely aptitude, hopefully that bodes well!

Forest-inspired music: part four

vic.jpgWe’re now onto the really dubious musical detritus that our beloved Reds have inspired. This little number is contributed to us courtesy of a chap called Vic Blackwell, and ‘Forest fans‘ whoever they might be. We are returning back to the late 70’s/early 80’s so plenty of references to the European Cup winning team. Vic Blackwell himself is presumably responsible for the dubious Brian Clough impersonation that forms the lead vocals, whilst the Forest fans comprise of patrons of numerous fictitious pubs as well as a girls and boys choir to boot.

This song very much belongs in the ‘best forgotten’ camp of music, particularly the sections featuring a very camp sounding group of fans proclaiming themselves as queens, and a rather politically non-correct tribal contribution from a group of ‘fans’ from a pub called ‘The Shrunken Head!’ Despite all this, if you can tolerate listening to the song right until the end, the track does redeem itself slightly with a not-so-sly dig at Liverpool FC, which is nice for those of us who remember a time when we were often rightfully uttered in the same breath as the regrettably more-illustrious Reds of Merseyside.

I’m not sure whether the photograph is the actual Vic Blackwell featured on the record, but I hope so as I found it quite amusing! The song is simply entitled ‘Nottingham Forest‘ – enjoy!

Permutations – what are our chances on catching 2nd?

It’s that time isn’t it?  We all spend inordinate amounts of time looking at league tables working out all manner of permutations and combinations of results.  From my own fiddlings with the figures, I still think we’re on course for a playoff finish and not much more, although there are a few interesting scenarios that could take place.  Bristol are of course four points ahead of us, they have +2 goal difference, as things stand we have scored two more goals than them.

Now there are two factors at play that determine our finishing position – the first thing is in our control, because it is our results.  We need three wins, I feel, to stand any chance at all.  The second factor is the dubious one (well, us getting three wins is quite dubious, but anyway!) – and that is that we need Bristol to drop points in two games out of the remaining three.  Whilst they undoubtedly have a trickier run in than us, I think that might be a bit too much for us to ask.

I don’t see why we can’t get a win against Bournemouth on saturday, against Orient away and indeed against Crewe at home.  If the players give it large, and if we play to our potential, then it should be doable.  Of course, I have said as much on plenty of occasions when it turns out our players didn’t do that, and we end up losing or drawing – but let’s be positive for a moment, and work on the assumption that we win each of our remaining games.

Bristol’s next game is a toughie – they have a long trip to in-form Carlisle, who are on a rather impressive run of five straight wins in the league.  So it is not remotely beyond the realms of possibility that they will drop points at the weekend.  Next up they face Millwall away – a shorter trip, but again, they face a team on a good run of form, four games unbeaten including a win against our good selves.  Their final game is against relegated Rotherham at Ashton Gate – I find it hard to imagine any upsets happening there.

So effectively, if Bristol lose against either Carlisle or Millwall, and draw the other – whilst we win all our games – we’re up.  Two draws and and a win, and it becomes interesting, because we would be equal on points.  So it would come down to goal difference in the first instance – currently Bristol have +2 on us, however if they draw two and we win two, we will be at least equal on goal difference – depending on how many we win by.  So there’s the possibility that we could end up very close indeed.  Imagine they drew both games, we won both of ours by 1-0, it would make goal difference equal.  Now imagine they draw both games 2-2 and we win both games 1-0, we would be equal on goal difference, and on goals scored!

In that scenario it would all come down to the last day of the season – if we matched each other’s result in terms of scoreline, we’d get second by virtue of beating them at the City Ground thanks to Nicky Southall’s freekick (thanks to the kind poster on LTLF who actually worked out much of this!), as points, goal difference and goals scored would all be equal.  Of course, I don’t for a minute expect that to happen – but what an amusing way to get promotion if it did!

The bottom line is, if we don’t win against Bournemouth on saturday I think we can forget it – and if we do win, and Bristol beat Carlisle, then I also think it unlikely we’ll catch them.  The most important thing for us is our results – to stand any chance of automatic promotion we need three wins, and even if we do that – if Bristol manage to win two of their games, it still won’t be enough anyway, but we will still enter the playoffs on a very positive run of results – which is important.

So to conclude, there is no conclusion – rather obviously we need to win our games, and hope that Carlisle, Millwall or – inconceivably – Rotherham can do us some big favours along the way to enable us to sneak into second.  It’s certainly not impossible, I still maintain it’s unlikely and think Bristol will just do enough to hold onto the second automatic spot – but certainly, as Smoulders keeps saying, it is proving to be an exciting climax to the season.  It’d still rather be where Scunthorpe are, though, and I haven’t even considered the rise of Blackpool up the table – argh!