Forest vs. Middlesbrough preview..

Bit late off the mark with this, been a busy week!  We welcome Middlesbrough to Nottingham for the second time this season, of course – having already had them visit for the Carling Cup back in August.  We triumphed 2-1 that day, and coupled with a November draw in the league at the Riverside Stadium, the midland Reds have the edge on results so far this season.

The appointment of Gordon Strachan took Boro from automatic promotion contenders to mid-table stragglers, having signed seemingly half the Celtic reserve side he finally seems to be getting some semblance of performance out of his new charges – and has them eyeing a play-off spot currently.  The Reds, of course, have had a very different trajectory in the same time-frame.

Forest have nine straight City Ground wins in their sights following the win against Sheffield United on Tuesday, whereas Middlesbrough prepared by losing to 2-0 Blackpool (who had been reduced to ten men), although a missed penalty in that game could’ve produced a better result for Boro.  Their last few away games have been a real mixed bag, they beat Doncaster but have lost to Newcastle, Barnsley, Sheffield United and Blackpool – with a draw against Ipswich.

Strachan is apparently quietly confident ahead of the visit, and will be hoping O’Neill is available for his selection to add to the positive news of Pogatetz and Killen recovering from injury.  The Reds have no fresh injury worries, so McCleary’s suspension and Joel Lynch’s ‘injury’ are the only things hampering Billy’s selections, as well of course as the long-term injury to Julian Bennett.

Barry Robson could be a player of interest – Forest tried hard to sign him from Dundee United when he eventually ended up with Celtic under Smoulderwood.  He’s one of five players from Celtic that Strachan has signed for Boro, and has been quite vocal about the need for improvement to elevate the north-easterners to a better league placing than their current ninth.

Another positive atmosphere from the crowd will be hugely helpful to get the Reds off to a good start tomorrow, much like I’m sure it helped on Tuesday.  Whilst Boro have been on a bad run they are starting to show signs of recovery to get back on the promotion trail – having said that, whether feeling ‘quietly confident’ or otherwise, the City Ground wouldn’t be their first choice of places to be visiting.

A win for the Reds could see them make up more ground on Newcastle – and overtake West Brom at least for a day, as they face an unpredictable trip to Bristol City on Sunday.  Newcastle have a home game with Preston which, frankly, following their mauling at the hands of Derby, I can’t see them struggling with too much.  I think it unlikely we’ll be anything other than third still come the end of the weekend.

9 Responses

  1. Loving the new style artwork – how about doing the club badges too?

  2. Why didn´t we try to get Darren Ambrose?
    He looked as if he would be a useful addition to our depleted squad,
    playing against Villa yesterday,or is he too much like mcGugan ?

  3. Must say I love the artwork too! Can’t beat a good ‘toon?


    Palace played Villa on Sunday! Or have you just lost a week?

  4. I can always remember Sunday 1st March 1998 when needing to beat Boro by 4 clear goals to replace them at the top of Division 1; 4 unanswered, secod-half goals from Van the Man, Campbell and Cooper did just that.

    That year we went on to win the League and return to the Premiership – I would settle for that again tomorrow!!

    U Reds!

    • Sorry, should have read “second-half”. Oh, and ‘Van’ scored twice – a free-kick and a penalty.

  5. Ravinreg, I live in margarita Island, Venezuela,and see football on my TVU Player or ESPN so I saw the Palace match on line and didn´t realise when it was played. Thanks anyway.!
    No one mentions Ambrose so does that mean he is not worth following up ?

  6. I dont think there will be much in this one.Maybe a draw or a goal either side but our defence will be tested today so lets be on the ball lads.

    If we win today we only need another 4 wins and i recon and playoff place is in the bag.Raise the roof u reds that are going and back billy and the boys.

    U reds

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