Hoskins injury better than first feared..

Forest have today announced that despite the doom-like prophecies surrounding his injury, Will Hoskins had made excellent progress in recovering from his back problem.  Rumours have been going around about the place that he was heading back to Watford, that we’d not see him again in a Forest shirt, and that he was somehow involved in last night’s Earthquake.

It transpires none of these rumours are true, and after period of recuperation the striker is set to return to training this week, and will hopefully feature in first team contention soon after Monday’s game at the City Ground against Carlisle – a game that Smoulds claims will probably come too soon for the recovering striker.

This is excellent news indeed – of course, a few days out of training will have done little for his fitness, which in terms of match-sharpness looked a little off prior to the injury, but with Tyson’s injury having Will available for selection sooner rather than later will be a huge boost given the kind of games we have coming up against fellow promotion-chasers.

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Stoney: I was glad Cloughie retired!

Whilst Dobie (yes, him!) was busy firing Carlisle United back into second place at Crewe, I was blissfully unaware sitting in The Approach in Nottingham being merrily entertained by Chris Waddle and Steve Stone – both of whom were there as part of ‘An Evening with…’ format night with Darren Fletcher compering to a packed crowd.

Stoney quite bravely announced he was quite pleased Clough retired when he did, owing to the manager’s loyalty to Gary Crosby which prevented Stone from breaking into the side – which of course he did to some accolade under Frank Clark, and eventually enjoyed a promotion, a third place finish, England appearances and eventually another promotion under Dave Bassett before leaving us for Aston Villa.

Both guests provided plenty of entertainment over the course of the evening, initially interviewed individually by Darren Fletcher before being set upon by the questions written down by the audience during the interval.  Waddle in particular was very articulate and entertaining – particularly with his tales of the incredibly newsworthy Paul Gascoigne during their time together as England teammates, and as friends beyond their footballing careers.

The time when Bryan Robson injured himself by taking his toenail off during a ‘lifting up the bed’ prank after a sneaky piss-up prior to the 1990 World Cup was particularly amusing, the terrified Gazza being quizzed by Bobby Robson was very amusingly told by Waddle – who was rooming with Gazza at the time – brought plenty of laughter from the crowd.  Since I hold Gazza at least partially responsible for Forest’s current plight, it was hard to share the general sympathy being spat out from the stage for the recently certified lunatic.

Stoney too came out with a couple of pearlers – on the football front he recalled he, Scot Gemmill and Andrea Silenzi being substituted at half time in a friendly at Hastings, at which point the hapless Italian apparently turned to Stoney and said “I played with Careca, I played with Maradona, and now I’m shit!” – it’s a shame that Frank Clark hadn’t had that conversation with him before signing him!

My favourite revelations were probably Waddle talking about when he convinced Gascoigne on a Concorde flight to Saudi Arabia that a random passenger was Frankie Howard, leading him to end up stalking the man as far as passport control before announcing something like “Howay man, look how pretentious he is, he’s got a fake name on his passport!”, or Stoney admitting that when at Portsmouth he had Yakubu calling him shit for THAT open-goal miss against Reading!

The absolute highlights for me though were Waddle’s tale of Gazza’s revenge (he talked a lot about Gascoigne!) for Waddle hitting him in the face with a cake – which basically involved Gazza offering to make his teammate a coffee, which turned out to be spiked with the hotel toiletry selection.  And from Stoney, it was a tale of him indulging a fan and signing her breast in the Black Orchid in Nottingham only to find his wife walking past him!

All in all, a top night, so if you didn’t heed my call at the start of the month then you missed out!  I’m still intrigued to know what Stoney might have got upto in a Biffa Bin behind Ritzy’s back in the day – a crowd question asked it, but he was suitably coy as to not ‘fess up to anything on the night.  He also wouldn’t retract his claim on the Gary Charles own goal at the Baseball Ground all those years ago… some people have no shame!