Blackpool vs. Forest preview..

Well, this is the big one.  Whilst I’ve spoken before about not exactly banking on succession to the Premier League, of course, the opportunity presented to Forest should they manage to overcome Blackpool and then either Leicester or Cardiff is massive.  In terms of potential rewards we’ve not had an opportunity like this since, well, since the last time we appeared in an play-off semi final in the Championship.  It’s been a while!

Whilst Blackpool have the boast of being the team that’ve done the double over us, there have been mitigating circumstances in both our encounters so far this season.  Early in the season at the City Ground even Ian Holloway admitted he’d ‘got away with robbery’.  Forest struggled to convert chances whilst the Tangerines nicked one on the break.  The more recent game at Bloomfield Road saw Forest quite weakened – and again, when pressing for an equaliser having fallen 2-0 down, Blackpool again broke and punished.  They probably deserved to win just about though.

What does that mean? Well, who knows really!  We know that Blackpool’s pitch isn’t the in quite as good nick as we’d prefer – indeed, if our corner taking in the sandpit-of-a-corner-arc is to go by at Scunthorpe, there’s some need for the Reds to perhaps have a bit of a practice!  Whilst Olly has been in the press pointing out that Blackpool are under no pressure given their relatively late surge into the top six, I’d argue just as strongly that Forest aren’t really either.  How many of you really expected promotion to be a possibility this season?  I didn’t!

In terms of personnel, the Reds are in decent shape.  Rumours persist about whether or not Chris Cohen has picked up an illness and whether or not that might affect his availability.  To counter that, it’s strongly thought that captain Paul McKenna might be fit and ready.  Long term absentees Julian Bennett and Brendan Moloney will remain unavailable.  So basically, it’s as you were with a slight question mark over Cohen.  I expect Billy to be cagey with his line-up in the away leg.

Blackpool are in good shape too – despite not having the luxury of resting players they’ve come through their final games unscathed.  All eyes are on their midfield dangerman Charlie Adam – although eye-catching in talent, he’s also a hothead – he’s been racking up the bookings, had he picked one up in the last game he’d have been suspended.  Do bookings carry over into the play-offs?  If so, expect some niggling of the Tangerine key man.  If that doesn’t work then he’ll need to be alert to try to stop both his creating and scoring of goals.

Billy has, as Billy does, been talking down our achievements to a degree – he’s been writing off the play-offs as a ‘lottery’, which I suspect rather downplays the preparation the wee fella will have been putting in to this game.  Holloway is very much playing up to the idea of being the underdog, which is a sensible way to take pressure of your players.  I really rate him as a manager and he will have a trick or two up his sleeve to try to give his side the edge.

As I noted above, I expect a relatively cagey approach from Forest.  If McKenna is available I could well see Billy opting for five in midfield with Dex leading the line, whether Cohen is available or not too could be a factor here too – more bodies might be needed to mitigate for the mileage he puts in.  In an ideal world I think he’d prefer to save Raddy either as a sub, or for the home leg.  Of course, I might be completely wrong and he might go attacking!

I’d consider this like more high-fallutin’ clubs consider European two-legged ties – particularly if you’re away first – and that would be to be rather content with a draw.  Of course, that’s a dangerous attitude but some kind of strategic/tactical balance will be in the mind of the management team.  I certainly won’t feel too grumpy on the bus back from Blackpool if we’re still level – and delighted if we can come back with a lead.

All that remains is to remind those of us travelling up to try to do our part as much as we can to get behind the boys.  I’m not sure whereabouts we’ll be in the ground, but certainly if in the open Golf Stand it can be difficult to get much of an atmosphere going there, so we’re gonna have to sing all the louder – the Blackpool fans showed in our recent trip up there they’re capable of making a noise, so let’s give them some competition off the pitch as well as on it.

COME ON YOU REDS!

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12 Responses

  1. Come on you Forest men!

  2. I don’t buy this” we have nothing to lose” attitude of Blackpool. They have as much to lose as we do and im sure there players , having gotten so close now, would be just as devastated as ours should they be knocked out.

    I’m also a bit concerned that you are going to the match,nffc, given your record at away matches recently. But i suppose the luck’s got to change sometime. What better time. Good luck to YOU REDS .

  3. You can bet that Blackpool will want to make the home leg count and I think we’d all be happy if we come away from Blackpool with a draw.

    Can we get back to that ‘unbeaten away’ mentality from earlier this season? Let’s hope so. 0-0 would do nicely thanks!

  4. I don’t know why people keep bringing up “your record at away matches recently” Surely the fans who go away to most away games all have a chequered record of late?

    Either way, I’m not going, tomorrow being only the second game away I’ve missed since January (Barnsley being the other) so hopefully its me that’s the curse and the boys in red will win by at least 3 goals.

    Come on Forest!

  5. If it’s not going well second half, maybe you could just nip back to the car or get an early drink?

  6. I went to both legs of the Sheffield United playoff and I went to both legs of the Yeovil playoff. We didn’t get through. I’m not going tomorrow but will be there Tuesday. Let’s hope it’s me. You Reds!

  7. Gutted, I can’t see it, can’t listen to it, had to go through the torture of text updates every minute or so on Teamtalk.com. Sounded like we could have won it? Hit the bar and post. Not over yet though. I’m sure we can do Blackpool at The City Ground. Bring it.

  8. after watching on sky nowt to fear 2nd leg if we get the same home advantage style refereeing from battenburg as dowd showed towards blackpool…. big wes ,kelv, gunts and hopefully luke chambers instead of james perch (better defender all round) will have a massive part to play with campy pushing and shoving behind……go for what your team deserves lads after a fantastic season no-one expected, just like 79/80…..round of applause please no matter wot the outcome tuesday…..u reds ….

  9. the ref was bad but we were the instigators of our own downfall, we scored a peach played well then failed to close them down, 2nd half i was worried that theyd get a 3rd, not to be for them,
    so come on forest tear em apart at the city ground

  10. Some boring stats I looked up late last night Forest have won 9 games by 2 goals or more at home (league games)
    Blackpool have won 6 away games all season.1 0 Forest 3 0 Middlesborough 2 0 Sheep 2 0 Plymouth 4 2 Scunthorpe and 1 0 Peterborough. Interestingly 4 of the away wins have been against relegation battlers. Lets hope we make it a 10 win on Tuesday.

    It is going to be squeeky bum time big time but we never expected anything different.

    In

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