The games are coming thick and fast now, and we’ve not been having the best of times in the last few games. That is starting to show in the stands and frustratingly certain sections of Forest fans have been reverting to type, somewhat – both in the stands and on the message boards. Indeed, if you check out this review from a poor QPR fan who travelled to the City Ground, there’s the perfect indication at what we can be like as a collective:
Strangely though, at 4-0 up, when Forest did have a little period, and I mean literally 45 seconds, where they just cleared their lines with a boot down the field the home fans actually started to groan and get on their own players’ backs.
I’ve spotted it too, present at our recent defeats away at Pride Park and the Ricoh Arena has found Reds fans perhaps with short memories and quick to forget that it’s frankly unrealistic to expect an entire season of excellent football. In reality, we’ve only produced that level of performance in a handful of games for any extended period – we are, after all, a work in progress.
But some of us are indeed behaving like spoiled brats.
So a sold-out away end just up the road at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium will hopefully have come to terms with this and actually be intent on backing the team. Even if some fans might feel the performance doesn’t warrant it. We have played comparable games to those against Derby and Coventry and got points from them earlier this season, this isn’t a crisis – just a bit of fortune evening itself out.
Anyway, enough preaching from me. The Reds will be eager to not make it three away defeats on the bounce having gone unbeaten away from the City Ground right the way up to our trip to Derby. Thanks to Derby, indeed, the automatic places are still well in sight if we can pick up our form – on the flip-side, our hosts will be eager for points as they are only a couple of points from the drop zone.
Donny’s form has been less than amazing – four defeats on the bounce were quelled with a decent 0-0 draw against Leicester at the Walkers Stadium in their last outing, Forest of course have had a mixed bag of late – a tremendous run in the league ended by the Rams, and then compounded at Coventry with a scrappy win against the Owls in between.
No fresh injury concerns for Forest, so just Bennett unavailable for selection – whether the manager opts to stick with the frankly underwhelming inclusion of Joe Garner in the side remains to be seen. I suspect we’ll see some alterations hopefully to give us both creativity and attacking pace. Rovers are missing Shackell, Lockwood and Fairhurst – with Shiels expected to come back from a shoulder injury.
Rovers typically try to play on the deck, which will be somewhat at odds with our last few opponents – and usually these are the teams we thrive against. That said, it must be well know now how to ruffle Forest’s feathers so perhaps they might opt for a more direct approach – but I’m hoping Sean O’Driscoll remains true to his football ideals and we might have a chance to try to play on the deck.
We’ve spent a fair bit of time in the company of Donny lately – their 4-2 win over us at the City Ground cost Smoulderwood his job, indeed – we’ve not really had much out of ’em in the last couple of years. The 4-1 win at the City Ground was welcome to this season, but in 2006/07 through to 2008/09 we only lodged 2 points against Rovers in 6 games.
That game earlier in the season of course heralded the ridiculous and scarely-heard-of-since ‘mixed fan zone’, something that Doncaster can’t replicate due to their stadium design – but apparently want to somehow embrace by encouraging fans to bring the tacky foam hands handed out for this initiative. Tell you what, leave the foam hands at home. Ground-breaking my arse, atmosphere-killing more like.
Anyway, back to the match – I’m really hoping to see the Reds approach this in a positive way, backed by a vociferous Nottingham following. I’m tempted to suggest resting Paul McKenna might be a good plan, although with Donny’s use of wingers his covering infront of the defence might be something we need. Over to you, Billy! I’m sure you’ve got suitable plans!
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