Solution to our problems in reserve?

The reserves won again today, whooping Bradford City 4-0 with four first-half goals.  Shouldn’t really be a surprise, they haven’t lost all season – having played 16 games they’ve registered a rather healthy 15 wins, and a solitary draw.  Whilst reserve team football is inevitably less competitive than league games, it’s an incredible run of results.

Whilst it’s easy and tempting to be snippy and suggest that Smoulders could learn a thing or two from his reserve coach John Pemberton, it’s fair to point out he is operating at a very different level – however, since it’s easy, and tempting, I’m going to do it anyway.  Today our reserve side went out on the pitch, and they’d scored after less than a minute – they were 4-0 up after 30 minutes.

Clearly there is some learning that could be transferred to the first team – our major problems are, in my negative frame of mind, too numerous to start listing.  If I were to pick the top two it is our struggle to ‘get into’ games from the outset, and it is our lack of goals (either through poor finishing or lack of creation of chances).

Of course, the difference between playing infront of a big crowd that is easily turned against you and a half empty ground with no real pressure is vast – very vast indeed, which is why I’m hesitant to suggest, despite my incredibly thin patience with Smoulderwood, that we have in John Pemberton a ready-made solution – however, if it were to pass I can’t say it would upset me greatly!

Regardless of the lack of competitiveness of reserve team football, the lack of pressure, the transition from this level to the first team and all those things – John Pemberton’s record in the background is becoming increasingly difficult to overlook when thinking of troubled Nottingham Forest.  As sure as eggs is eggs, there will be eyes from places other than Forest on our reserve team boss.

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