Forest vs. Blackpool preview..

I wasn’t going to do a preview, with the games coming so close – but well, I changed my mind.  I said the last game was huge, and now with a one goal deficit to overcome at the City Ground, the stakes couldn’t be higher.  Forest put their nineteen game unbeaten league run at the City Ground on the line for a shot at the big time (or, I suppose, a shot at a shot at the big time).

A capacity crowd will be there to hopefully provide plenty of backing to Billy and the boys as they seek to address the 2-1 scoreline that Blackpool earned at Bloomfield Road.  Away goals count for nothing here, so Forest would need to amass a two goal lead or more to progress whilst avoiding extra time, a one goal lead of course activates that.  We’ve not got a good record in extra time during past play-off encounters!

On Saturday neither side exactly played to their potential – a strong first half for Forest was still only sufficient to go in level at half time, and was followed by a less composed second half.  Blackpool were more consistent over both halves and demonstrated their dangerous finishing – taking their fewer chances to earn lead at half time in the two legged tie.

The good news is that the Reds didn’t pick up any further injury problems – both Paul McKenna and Chris Cohen came through the game with no concerns which is good news.  We are further boosted by the news that Guy Moussi is available after missing out on the trip to the seaside with a groin injury.

Blackpool too picked up no injuries so will be in a similarly strong position – Holloway has been pretty consistent in his team selections of late so we can perhaps expect the same line-up again, whilst Billy I expect to do something different.  Given our need for goals, I’d expect Earnie to be starting alongside Dexter in a more attack-minded formation.

I think the visitors too will be in attack-mode too, though.  Having seen them a few times now it’s certainly where their strength lies, and Holloway will be hoping to exploit any gaps at the back we might leave in pursuit of a goal by hitting us on the break.  It will be an interesting encounter, for sure – which is why Billy’s plea for the fans to generate some noise is a good shout.

As for us – we need to make better use of our chances (and indeed, hope for referees who can spot something like a hand-ball in the area!!) – we created enough at Bloomfield Road but didn’t take advantage.  This is a real big lesson we can learn from the Lancashire men in Tangerine – their ‘goal’s scored’ column in the league table is the envy of pretty much everyone bar Newcastle and West Brom.

Whilst it’s a bit of a cliché, with the tie still close as it is then I can’t help but think the side that notches first will be the side in ascendency.  Forest don’t fail to score at home very often, and indeed, we’re not adverse to keeping clean sheets – but with Blackpool’s chance-taking credentials that will be a bigger challenge than many games we’ve played lately at the City Ground.

It’s going to be an intense evening, and certainly I’m already feeling the nerves starting to kick in as I contemplate it.  The prize awaiting the winner is the chance to go on to Wembley and face either Cardiff or Leicester (Cardiff are 1-0 up and have home advantage for the next leg on Wednesday).  I shall refrain from predictions – but can certainly state that I hope the team that triumphs at the City Ground tomorrow goes on to win at Wembley.

As for us, we must heed Billy’s call and get behind the team as much as possible.  We all desperately want an early goal to settle the nerves, but frankly, if that isn’t forthcoming then certain fans need to quell that urge they have to start griping and moaning.  Positivity is the name of the game and we can play our part which – even if it has a moderate impact on our players – it’s worth it!

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17 Responses

  1. great article dude. Massive game tomorrow for both clubs.
    If Blackpool beat us at home it goes without saying that they truly deserve it, we are no pushovers at home on our nice pitch.
    Tomorrows atmosphere will be electric, this is the chance our players have been waiting for, lets see what we can do.

  2. I think the game may be won or lost with the first rendition of “Mull of Kintyre” – if it as spine tingling as the last home game, we will win!

    So, perhaps more than ever, the chances of being at Wembley and the potential Premiership riches might be directly related to our efforts – such power!!

    I’m looking forward to Anfield, Old Trafford, etc ……

    U Reds!

  3. Blackpool are 4/1 to win with Bet365.

    Incredible odds for a two-horse race. Forest apparently can’t lose. according to the bookies!

    • Anyone else tempted by a sneaky bet on em? ;). Are those odds to win on aggregate or over the 90 mins of the 2nd leg?

  4. I hope we gave the seasiders as small an allocation as they gave us to keep their noise down. Having been to the crisp bowl and seen them tuck away fans out of the way, I think we should at least treat others as they treat us.

  5. Husky, they’ve been given 2000 tickets, it had to be 10% of the ground capacity or 2k, whichever was the smaller. Should be a good atmosphere in the Lower Bridgford!

    Can’t believe how nervous I am. Usually I wake up and my first thought is hoping for a tickle off the wife, but as soon as the alarm went this morning my first thought was “oh sh*t, it’s today. I hope cohens fit” !!!!
    I reckon the emotion might get a bit too much tonight, and I’ll shed a tear during the spine-tingling redition of MoK.

  6. Far have we travelled
    Much have we seen
    Goodison…Anfield are places we’ve been
    Maine Road…. Old Trafford still echo the sound
    Of the boys in RED from

    CITY GROUND

    CITY GROUND OH MIST ROLLIN’
    IN FROM THE TRENT MY DESIRE IS ALWAYS TO BE HERE OH CITY GROUND

  7. BE LOUD, BE PROUD!

  8. They stil have 70 tickets available in their away end. AWFUL SUPPORT. lets roast the seasiders tonight with a vintage city ground performance.

  9. Francis in Munich in seventy-nine,
    Robbo in Madrid, oh those goals felt so fine,
    Old Big’ ead’s watchin’, his voice’s still around
    shoutin’ from the dugout in dear old

    CITY GROUND

    CITY GROUND OH MIST ROLLIN’
    IN FROM THE TRENT MY DESIRE IS ALWAYS TO BE HERE OH CITY GROUND

    (Shivering even while typing… Go, my Reds, go!)

  10. That’s spot on our Greek friend!!

    • Then you guys sing it tonight for me! You’ll have a far better accent (lol)

  11. Good luck to Blackpool . They deserved it clearly . We got a bit of bad luck with a few decisions but none the less we didn’t dominate like we always do at home . We let them control the match and they had to score eventually .
    Positives:at least we didn’t have to endure extra time and penalties . I would have had heart failure ; we have had a great season ; and we get to play Hull !!!!
    Hope Blackpool get there and We will have one
    less bogey team next season .

  12. Congratulations Blackpool; a fantastic footballing side. Even @ half-time when they’d shipped a goal & not managed a chance, they looked really composed.

    Gutted for all Red’s fans and especially for Wes & Perchy who’ve also lived through all of the play off defeats. Poor old Perchy hung out to dry at left-back so no recriminations red’s fans.

    Alway’s proud to be a Red but a little ashamed for the lack of respect shown Ormerod when he got taken off and also all the part-timers who didn’t have the class to stay until the end like the real loyalists.

    Anyway onwards & upwards the mighty Reds.

  13. Totally agree with Tony and Graham. Looked like we were not ready for the next step. Patience and next season, with this fantastic core of players (with one more year of experience under their belts) plus two or three additions we will be pushing for automatic.

    Credit to Blackpool, they were better in both games, but if that offside against Blackstock was not called (as it shouldn’t!) I don’t know if they would have been able to come back from a 2-0 half time deficit. But again, history is not written with “ifs”.

    As I have said earlier in this blog, for me the Reds went beyond any possible predictions and offered us a sweet season, So thanks Billy and the lads, next season you will have the support you need to go even higher.

    We’re Nottingham Forest, we’re loud and proud!

  14. Yes, you have correctly told

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