Step one to survival taken, two and three to go!

Nottingham Forest – 1
Coventry City – 0

Most definitely a game of two halves, albeit one which I think Forest earned their three points.  A crossbar struck in the first half, a goal in the second half, a decent save by their ‘keeper too.  I don’t think Paul Smith had much at all of note to be doing at our end of the pitch.  With Southampton losing and Barnsley drawing, this was a cracking three points.

Forest lined up with Smith in goal, Chambers and Wes at centreback, Perch at left back and Gunter at right back.  Cohen, Osbourne, McGugan and Anderson should’ve made up midfield, but Garner appeared to be playing out on the left wing, leaving Blackstock somewhat a lone striker in the first half.

The game started with Coventry pressing us, but not really creating a great deal – indeed, the first twenty minutes were eminently forgettable – this landmark was greeted by the extreme excitement of Clinton Morrison shotting pretty much straight at Paul Smith who gathered without any drama.

Forest’s first decent chance followed, a corner whipped in by Lewis McGugan was well met by the head of Luke Chambers, only to return back into play courtesy of the crossbar.  It fell for Osbourne, albeit not exactly kindly, and the midfielder was only able to direct the ball out for a goal kick to Coventry.

A freekick from the edge of the box had us worrying over the possibility of an Eastwood strike, fortunately Fox opted to spanner it into the Trent End much to our relief and amusement, the visitors then spurned their best chance of the game – good work by Morrison found Eastwood and a teammate unattended at the back post, but the former Southend man put it wide.

The half ended with another Fox freekick into the wall this time, and really left us feeling rather frustrated.  The popular verdict was that it had been ‘crap’ and that there hadn’t really been the sense of urgency our league situation demands.  From listening to Perchy’s interview post-match it would seem Billy’s half time team talk was along the same lines!

The second half saw Anderson – apparently suffering with an ankle injury – replaced with McCleary.  Garath was immediately involved down the right hand side taking on his man, and indeed, it wasn’t long before we’d scored – McGugan sent a ball across from the right to Blackstock, who held the ball superbly before releasing it to the onrushing Perch who slotted the ball calmly into the bottom corner of the net.

This seemed to settle Forest, and whilst the second half wasn’t exactly a rip-roaring encounter, it seemed more comfortable.  The only other chance of note crafted by either side was created and taken by Cohen, who won the ball in the middle and unleashed a shot which looked like it took a deflection before requiring an impressive save by Westwood.

The only other chance of note was a goalmouth scramble from a Cohen corner – Garner backheeled to Osbourne whose shot struck Blackstock to go wide for a goalkick.  Then came ‘the scary substitution’ – McGugan off, Perch into Midfield, Gunter to left back, Chambers to right back, Breckin on as centre back.

Too many chances, Billy – it scared us!  Fortunately Coventry really weren’t all that interested in contesting this game properly so it didn’t backfire, but with a good 5-10 minutes left we were blatantly attempting to keep the ball in the corners, bringing everyone back.  I know we need the win at all costs, but it’s not good for my nerves!

With Barnsley picking up only a point, and Southampton losing, things bode well today elsewhere for us too.  Tomorrow is the ‘old farm’ derby between Ipswich and Norwich, where we will of course be rooting for the blues to put a dent in their rivals’ survival hopes.  We could also use today’s opponents Coventry doing us a favour by beating Barnsley on Tuesday.

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59 Responses

  1. Effective rather than pretty. Job done for now. Great 3 points tho….

    A word about the ref….. SHITE!!! He reminded me of Graham Poll – hey look at me “Im in charge”. Some really bad decisions to boot. Why on earth did he stop Wes in full flow after an innocuous challenge (that failed anyway) to bring it back for a free kick. Premiership??? Hes having a laugh…!

  2. Phew !!Great 3 points. I expect the same at Blackpool as the lads won´t be feeling the tension quite as much playing away..Well done !

  3. Told u guys so… :p Anyway to repeat my point about other teams being dragged in… Tommorows & Tuesdays matches will clear a lot up…

    MATCHES B4 SAT:
    Sunday: Norwich Ipswich (Ipswich win pls 🙂 )
    Tuesday: Derby Reading (Reading win Pls) , Coventry Barnsley (mmm, difficult to say what I want, a win for Coventry, Barnsley in hell & they’re safe, DRAW, Barnsley still below us, Coventry a pnt closer to saftey, Barnsley win – NO txs but not disasterous 😉 Coventry now in BIG trouble IF Norwich won)

    SO, we all await for 2.45ish (UK time) to see how things stand)

  4. Just got back home from the game – and still shaking. Great 3 points and a game we could have all to easily lost. Nerves definitely got the better of the lads in the first half which was dire. Agree with Alan, the Ref had a shocker. Forest much better in second half with McClearly adding some urgency and pace – for a while at least. Smithy didn’t have much to do but he was not secure and again remained planted to his line except for the time he decked Perch!! Lets home Coventry can do us another favour and beat Barnsley and come on you Tractor Boys.

  5. All Hail King Billy !

    the more I see of this man, the more I like.

  6. Agree Paul, how animated was BD today and his HT team talk did the trick again!

  7. Time for all us optimists to crawl out of our holes, don’t you think?

    Well done Billy & lads. Thanks for reversing the absolutely unneccessary negative atmosphere that had settled into the CG (and this forum too) after the Burnley and Wolves games. We still believe, and we will do it. Take pride for our team, so young but also so willing to fight and little by little gaining that never-say-die attitude everyone wants to see in the team they support.

    From that viewpoint: This rollercoaster season did an awful lot of good to “Smudger”. Best thing that could happen to him. Every time he gets restored, he responds with a couple of clean sheets, sticking his tongue out at everyone that has been foolishly giving him s**t all season long, saying “bring on more loanees”. Please do it in Blackpool also Smitty, although it will be harder than this afternoon. I predict, and you have read it here first: Paul will spend many years at the CG and will “do a Crossley” of his own.

    U REDS!

  8. Vassilis – “Do a crossley”? What, get p*ssed before a vital game at Southampton? I hope not!

  9. Yiannaki,

    Coventry are safe – 7 teams have to get more than 53 points for them to go down – and a lot of them play each other. I’m hoping they respond to last weeks poor home game to Charlton (where they got booed at half time) by beating Barnsley on Tuesday.

    Plymouth are in the mix, and face a nothing game at QPR before a 6 pointer with Barnsley.

    I wanted Blackpool to win, so that they would have nothing to play for next Saturday – but even so, they may well consider 52 points enough, especially if Norwich lose tomorrow, and so we should have more hunger than them. Mind you, they end the season away at Swansea, so they will be eyeing the game with us as the one they can get the point that would guarantee their safety.

    D*rby will beat Reading on Tuesday, unfortunately, as Reading are sh*te at the moment.

    Finally, Southampton will lose to Burnley nest week, and if Barnsley beat Cov they are doomed. At the same time, Barnsley have to get something at Cov, as they play a Wolves team looking to cement the title next weekend, and they could potentially be doomed before they play Plymouth.

    I can’t even spell ‘permutations’, and now I have a headache!

    YYYYOOOOOOOUUUUU RRRRREEEEEDDDDDSSSSSSSSSSSS

  10. Great 3 points,got in the ground a bit earley today on taking up my seat T6 lower Trent End was very pleased to see Mr Billy Davis making a fuss of our younger supporters both in the Trent End then Main stand a great touch Billy,the half time team talk seemed to work also first class.

  11. Hahaha Forest Forest, of course I didn’t mean THAT!!!
    Good joke tho 🙂

  12. The jangling of the nerves has just ceased about an hour a go.Superb win well done to billy and the boys all we can do is our own job forget about other teams.

    Next week is the big one a win away and others drop points we MAY I SAY MAY BE OVER THE LINE.

    A massive week for the reds lets show the bottle and desire and claim a survival.

    U reds

  13. Loving the Scotsman…

  14. Very nervy 1st half
    2nd half we could of scored a few
    mcgugan and especially mccleary were the difference
    quality

  15. This quote from BD is hilarious…

    “Yes, one or two choice words were said at halftime. And I had a little word in Perch’s ear while he was in the toilet. I told him he wasn’t getting forward enough.”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/2009/04/19/perch-throws-a-lifeline-to-brave-forest-115875-21288673/

    Imagine you are Perchy taking a quiet pee at HT and there’s the ‘wee’ scotsman in his ear telling him to get forward more! Brilliant work Billy and well don indeed for the much needed 3 points!

  16. As stated by only a few wise-heads at the time, as some lamented the passing of Calderwood & others stupidly couldn’t see past Davies’ Derby links, we really have finally got the real deal in the shape of the flying scotsman. It is refreshing to have a man at the helm who has got drive, determination & the ability to take the club forward.
    If he can get the club out of the whole dug by Calamity Calderwood & the liability that is our Chief executive we really should start believing- Onwards & upwards!!

  17. Yep, Billy seems to be doing a thorough job. He wont even let the players go for a pee in peace. Well done Billy!

    “Yes, one or two choice words were said at halftime. And I had a little word in Perch’s ear while he was in the toilet. I told him he wasn’t getting forward enough.”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/2009/04/19/perch-throws-a-lifeline-to-brave-forest-115875-21288673/

  18. Yep, Billy seems to reach the parts that other managers cannot reach…

    “Yes, one or two choice words were said at halftime. And I had a little word in Perch’s ear while he was in the toilet. I told him he wasn’t getting forward enough.”

  19. Wes was magnificent yesterday. Nothing, absolutely nothing got past him. Perch was immense too, especially given he was playing at left back. Osbourne looked class – so calm and composed (excluding his wild lash of a cross when he had time to pick someone out). Cohen had somewhat of an off day by his standards. Blackstock worked his socks off, great hold-up and release for Perch to score. McGugan was McGugan, utterly brilliant at times, horribly extravagant at others but one thing was noticably – his work rate was significantly better. McCleary undoubtedly changed the game – he seems to have developed a knack of doing this lately. And I thought that apart from conceeding a stupid free-kick, Chambers had a good game too.

    Cov should have had a pen though when Garner fouled and the ref gave a free-kick on the edge of the box. Garner was outside the area when he “tackled” but the Cov player was most definately inside the 18 yard box. Typical crap ref that we’ve seen all too often.

    COME ON YOU TRACTOR BOYS!!

  20. Don’t get me wrong I am pleased with the last three results and I think now we will be OK.
    I was one of the many who did not like billy, I still don’t. Not because he managed Derby, I could not care less about that. I don’t like him as a person or the type of football he plays. I think he is a one man marketing machine. Ultimately I am a Forest fan and will support them way after Billy goes. I also believe we should give more credit to the players, especially Cohen, McGugan and Perch.

  21. Things just seem to get better, Norwich losing today puts things firmly in our own hands. get 3 pts at Blackpool, and the last day will probably become an easy day.
    Still amazed we didn’t get Dos Santos on loan when he was given to Ipswich a day after we got Gunter, but he has scored one of our most important goals with that penalty today.
    We’re going to stay up, which I believed we were capable of as a team regardless of BD. Agree with redash, he isn’t the man for us and I guarantee we’ll all come to realise that eventually. The prospects of staying up is clouding judgement temporarily, but we’ll see come the depths of next winter, when we’re comfortable in the league but playing terrible football whether we’re actually happy with this man at the helm.
    Sorry to be downcast on what’s been an excellent weekend. Respect to all for the great crowd yesterday.

  22. Great comment from graham couldnt agree more davies has got drive and passion we have floundered around for over a decade now we need grit and determination.

    Totally disagree with ryan and redash have you guys played football at a decnt level ? if you have then you will realise how much of a mess we where in under calderwood in december.

    The club has needed a kick up the backside and if you think cloughie was a nicey nicey guy you are both diluded well done billy.

  23. At no point am I deluded. I never said that we didn’t need organisation, grit or determination within the squad, and you’re right, CC was not giving any of this to the squad. Pretty sure we are in the same league position now as when CC left though. The problem with CC was he was unable to deliver football that could open defences up, and the ability to change a game. He had to go no doubt.
    My point was the quality was in the squad anyway to avoid the drop, it was just the case of playing better attacking football, which is taught on the training ground. From what I’ve seen, we will be playing nothing but complete direct football next season. Which ISN’T the way Forest have prided themselves in playing throughout the years, and certainly isn’t the way we’re teaching the kids in the academy to play.
    You may reference the impact his loan signings have been, but bar blackstock, which was quite the coup, the rest were obvious availabilities.
    I understand 100% that some of these players needed a good rollicking for behaviour on and off the pitch, but any right minded professional manager coming in after CC would’ve realised that and made efforts to sort the problem. It didn’t take a genius to work out there were some serious slackers, and that’s even more apparent as BD is no genius. Plus the man is intent on playing Perch at cb next season, give me a break!
    No idea what your comment regarding Clough is about, I have always maintained we should’ve had faith in Pemberton, but yes, for me, Clough would’ve been preferred to BD. Have you seen Clough at the sidelines, he doesn’t strike me as being ‘nicey-nicey’. He looks like he gives his players serious shit if their effort and standard isn’t up to scratch.
    I will applaud his efforts in helping our club to stay in this division, but I am not deluded in thinking, with this talented young squad, that another manager of decent calibre would’ve kept us up.
    The man strikes me as having a serious narcissistic attitude towards players, and I don’t like the contradictory bi-polar views he gives to the press on a regular basis.
    Sorry I will never be a sycophant.

  24. Fabulous result at Portman Road, well done the Tractor Boys. Come on Coventry. I think BD has done a good job since his arrival but I suspect it will end in tears, not because I don’t like him, I just think it will evetually get messy with the Board. Which is a shame as I like his passion and drive. Yes, he is full of himself, but so are many other good managers, it goes with the territory.

  25. Never happy! Come on boys give Billy a chance to stamp his mark on the club before you label him a long-ball merchant. Harry Bassett was dismissively tagged a long-ball manager, however I remember being suitably entertained by the likes of Campbell, the Dutchman etc.
    As for talk of our history and tradition of playing the beautiful game; this had been sadly lacking over the last ten years. To the contrary the fare we’ve been forced to watch under the likes of Pratt, Kinnear, Megson & Calderwood has been embarassing!! So I for one am happy @ the strides being made symbolised by a over-weight, lazy, arrogant show pony being replaced by a leaner, hungrier and fitter Mcgugan. You never know he may make a proper defender out of Chambers; then again he can’t perform the impossible!!

  26. Fair point Graham, the last 10yrs have been appalling, but nonetheless we do teach good football at youth level. BD is doing a good job, never said he wasn’t. I apologise I just have a general malaise about Forest these days, and I’m far too cynical for my own good. Sincerely hope to be proved wrong, and look forward to the future. Forest ’till I die!

  27. I know the feeling Ryan to be fair its hard not to be cynical with some of the decisions that have been made @ board level over the last few years even for a hopeless optimist like myself. Nevertheless, glass half full & all that!

  28. I’ll look forward to Billy crafting some beauty in to our game next season, right now I just want to stay up so the few good things CC managed aren’t all for nowt.

  29. Billy is sweating blood to keep us up.

    Under calderwood we would have been down before Charlton!!

    I can’t understand those who cannot see that Billy is what this club needs.
    He wears his heart on his sleeve and on his way to turning this club around he might just oust Arthur in the process!!

  30. What’s all this premature talk of next season eh?

    Yes results couldn’t have gone much better this weekend but let’s not count our chickens just yet.

  31. URED & Aylesbury. Spot on comments from both of you but I am a happier man today than a few weeks ago. Got to be some positive offset from the stress ageing I suffered at the CG yesterday!

  32. There is no doubt that some forest fans come off with some tripe from time to time. We are still hearing fans bang on about:

    1.Hoof Ball- In our current predicament a win is a win, no matter what. Some fans need to get realistic, in terms of we have not had a decent team to play that style of football since Hart, and that was a short lived affair. You do not want to be one of these teams that bang on about that the style of football is more important than results (i.e Newcastle, they are going to get relegated bar a miracle. For the wealth of that club they should be top 5/6 every year, but they are morons and change their manager when the football does not match Keegan’s earlier stint.You know what, it never will again! Good football always follows good results, and you must get those results in any way that matters.
    2. Billy’s Arrogance- We had the most arrogant manager of all time and he was bloody brilliant.

    Billy is doing a brilliant job with this team, considering look at CC points per game ratio (actually what has N. Clough got, and compare the 2). I for one hope he hangs around for a long time,which is the only way to achieve success (4 years +)

  33. One bit of humour on Saturday.

    As the rousing ‘Forest til I die’ was finishing a bloke near me commented ‘yes for me that might be sooner rather than later if we have another day like today!!’

    PS. was Arthur behind the decision not to have a minutes silence for Hillsborough?

    I know it upset many fans, me included.

  34. I’m sure the announcer said at the Bristol match that there would be a minutes silence on Saturday?
    Perhaps the club thought better of it given the shameful noise made during the minutes silence before the England U21 game…?

    Back to the match…Christ we were rubbish in the 1st half!
    But the 2nd half more than made up for it. Results are all that matter now. Wes and Chambers threw themselves into every tackle, perch took a half to figure out his position but improved as the game wore on. Even Lewis looks up for a fight now. He impressed me on Saturday.

    Anyone else see the spat at the end between Garner and their centre-half? Him and Gunter would make a good ‘bouncer’ double act!

    So, results first, pretty football second. Get the results and hopefully the confidence and nice footy will reap rewards next season…

  35. Ithink Calderwood going was necessary and Pemberton keeping the job until the end of the season would have kept us up,but there is no doubt the players are learning a lot from the Davies team.
    . If the negative deadwood in the club i.e mark arthur and david pleat are cleared out at the end of the season I will be more optomistic about Davies staying and completing the job of getting us back where we belong.
    Well done all the players for the effort and willingness to learn.
    Just voted for player of the season. Earnie for me,cohen second and loanee Camp,who I hope is with us next season….

  36. No doubting Earnie’s class, but Cohen for me. He has carried the midfield almost on his own this season, and played full-back when needed.
    Camp???!!

  37. Agree Cohen for PotS. For those that may have misunderstood by last blog as a criticism of BD it was not. I have felt from the outset he was the best man from the job and I like him and the passion he shows. I just think that at some time there will be issues with the Board and I hope he gets his way over MA.

  38. Cohen 1 Wes 2 and Earnie 3

    “Three Lungs” Cohen gives us 100% evey game and just (but only just) edges out Wes.

    Camp not a candidate has hes not with the club now.

  39. Not having a go ryan just disagreed with your views on davis he is grafting hard to sort out another mess that the board have got us in.

    Ive been a red for 30 yrs and like you have almost been dimented by the lack of nouse at the club.By the way i was refering to brain clough in my comment.

    U reds

  40. No problem redric, went off on a rant, got enough worries in my life without Forest being a club run by jokers who seriously piss me off. Really not sure why I’ve had it in BD from the start, it’s nothing to do with his previous jobs or what I’ve heard of the football he produced while at Preston and Derby, but I will always give 100% backing to the team, and yes for the present and foreseeable future, I will take points and success regardless of how we play. U reds

  41. Cohen head and shoulders above the rest for player of the season in my opinion

  42. Its a very tough call between Cohen and Wes for me. I’m still undecided. How about a vote for best loanee? We’ve had a few!

  43. Best loanee, got to be blackstock! Key goal & key assist at the critical part of the season. All you can ask of an end of season loanee is to come in and make a difference in a team/formation he desn’t know and this he has done it in spades.

  44. Coventry held Barnsley to a draw. It’s all in our hands!
    UUU REEEDS!

  45. Deeping red, I’d agree Dexter has made a big difference, especially considering nathans injury problems. (Incidentally, Tys worked his socks off this season).

    But for me the best loanee we’ve seen was Brett Ormerod. Without him last season we’d still be plugging away in Division 3

  46. Bloody hell, mattyboy! If we’re not talking about this season then Huckerby has to win the award by a country mile, doesn’t he??

    I was really thinking about best leanee THIS season.

  47. Hands up an other sad ba*ta*d like me who was watching Sky Sports News willing Coventry to get a goal then jumped of the settee when they got a penalty in the 90th minute!!

    Now thats the power of positive thought for you!!

  48. URED my hands up. Had ben jumping off the sofa all the way through the second half of the Liverpool vs Arsenal game but saved the biggest leap for that bit of news.

  49. Wes & Cohen undoubtedly the two players of the season for me; guts,determination,consistency,will to win- these two boys have got it in buckets. Loan signings have been more patchy for every Camp there’s been a Martin!
    Nevertheless for sheer impact Camp & Blackstock best two, for potential both Anderson & Gunter- lets hope we can keep hold of them for next season.
    Sheep fans not so pleased with thelmselves now…

  50. Judging by your comments it looks like Cohen for player of the season.
    Yes I was watching live text on bbc for coventry match which is even sadder….Phew !
    So blackpool will be happy with a draw to ensure safety. Should be a cracking game as they try to stop Tyson, Earnie,and blackstock from scoring.I can´t wait for saturday,kickoff here in Margarita Island at 7 am !!Reading to win again please !!!!!!

  51. SAINTS ARE SINNERS

    10 POINT DEDUCTION GIVEN = THEM BEING RELEGATED

    ONLY 1 POSITION LEFT

    IT AIN’T GONNA BE US!! 😉

  52. So Southampton are definitely down one way or another, but could still have something to play for on the last day since if they get out of the relegation spot on current points they could take their 10 point penalty this season rather than next. Only vital to us if everything goes tits this weekend (ie if we lose in Blackpool while Southampton, Barnsley and Norwich all win, more or less).

    And still far better than Southampton going right out of business, as seemed possible (which would have left us with a 3 point deduction from the win in January and only one game left to play…)

  53. As things now stand, any team on 52pts is not 100% safe. Obviously, if Norwich were to lose on Monday night & we get s’thing (even all 3 pnts & why not?) on Sat midday it could all be decided by Monday night the last spot.

    Important matches:
    Saturday, 25 April 2009 (all 15.00 except us 12.30)
    Barnsley v Wolverhampton, Blackpool v Nottm Forest, Derby v Charlton.

    Monday, 27 April 2009
    Norwich v Reading, 19:45 – Norwich to drop points will mean should Forest gain something on Saturday certain safety for us.

    Sunday, 3 May 2009 (all 13.15)
    Charlton v Norwich, Nottm Forest v Southampton, Plymouth v Barnsley, Swansea v Blackpool, Watford v Derby.

    Watford & Blackpool need a point each, Derby 2, Plymouth 3, us 4 & Barnsley 5 assuming Norwich win both their last games. Charlton although down are a serious player in who joins them in Div 1 & Saints could still send us down if results go wrong. In other words, 7 teams for 1 place. As said, by Mon evening it could be all over & Saturdays games irrelevent with everything decided.

  54. Albert – NO. They will only take it next season if they don’t automaticly survive the drop. If they were to finish 21st they would be given the deduction this season.

  55. That’s what I meant. So if Soton win and Barnsley and Norwich both lose this weekend (not that likely a scenario, of course), they’d still be in with a chance of overtaking them for a pre-deduction 21st place, and would have something to play for in the last game. That Norwich result would also make us safe with a point from either game, of course, so it wouldn’t be too bad, although it would be a bit nervy if we lost at Blackpool as well.

    I accept that it’s almost as far-fetched a scenario as the one that sends Derby down, mind.

  56. For the Sheep 2 go down & Nige 2 lose his job – all teams below the Sheep must win, Sheep must not more than a pnt from their final games & GD must be raised….

    In the meantime, we Trickies need a win to pile on the presure on Derby in their game which KO after our game. A win (& very much a possibility) will take us above them 4 a while… A 3 goal win will take us above Blackpool too!! Hell y not!! But seriously, any win I’ll take on Sat & also any draw. BD is telling the players to keep their feet on the ground & I’m sure they will & Tys & Earnie are making the trip to Blackpool. Turner won’t but I ain’t losing no sleep over that – as s’one else already said, Smith comes up with a couple of clean sheets on his return.

    1 more thing – I hope no-one is taking any serious interest in these transfer rumours flying over the net?? I’m more concerned for the finish of the season that the rest…

  57. For us to be safe at 5pm tomorrow we have to win and any 1 of these to happen:
    1) Barnsley lose (we’ll be 4pts above Barnsley)
    2) Plymouth lose (we’ll be 2pts above Plymouth and at least 1pt above Barnsley who have to play each other)
    3) Barnsley AND Plymouth both to draw ( 1pt ahead of Plymouth and 2pts ahead of Barnsley)

    … here’s for 3pts by 2.30pm!!

  58. Lets hope norwich lose now on monday. I don´t want to wait until sunday with an inferior goal difference.
    Please Reading do your stuff !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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