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Forest vs. Bristol City preview (second attempt!)..

What with all the excitement at the weekend it would’ve been easy to forget to write this today, indeed, I almost did.  However, we’re straight back into league action on Tuesday with the visit of Bristol City after our initial fixture at the back end of 2010 was cancelled due to a smattering of frost in the environs of Rushcliffe Borough.

Obviously the mighty Reds will be on the crest of a wave – not only has our recent run of results been excellent, we of course are still nursing a 32 league game run at the City Ground without tasting defeat, and – of course – we just completed a first double over Derby County in twenty one years, a first win in Derby since 1994, and a first double over the Rams in 21 years.

It’s got anti-climax written all over it, hasn’t it?

I mustn’t think like that though.  The Reds came through their encounter with Derby unscathed on the injury front, so Billy has the option to tinker.  Certainly Tyson and Anderson put in a lot of mileage at Pride Park and might need a rest, and Earnie’s clinical finish might make the wee fella consider recalling his number ten for further action.

Our visitors are doing surprisingly badly this season.  Currently they reside at 17th in the table having won only one of their last eight games, including an FA Cup exit at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday.  Having said that, that one win came against Cardiff with a handsome 3-0 scoreline, so there’s clearly an occasional sting in their tail.

Prior to the eight games they won three on the bounce at home – beating Leicester, Sheffield United and Derby at Ashton Gate.  Keith Millen took charge of the Robins after Steve Coppell quit towards the start of the season.  He’s been involved with the club for a while whilst only having been a temporary manager in the past.

One success story for them this season has been Brett Pitman up front, the striker signed from AFC Bournemouth and has not found goals too difficult to come by in the Championship having turned down a move to Ian Holloway’s Blackpool before moving.  He’s a player who’s always been on my radar since the times I used to waste hours of my life on Football Manager (rather than this blog and Twitter etc!).  I think I even got him playing for England once!

The bookmakers comfortably have Forest as favourites – which is understandable, they base their decisions on form.  Always a position that makes me feel nervous (being a natural pessimist).  City will be able to come without too much pressure to perform, whilst Forest could well suffer from a bit of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ syndrome.

That said our team spirit and unity is as good as I’ve ever seen it at Forest at the moment, and both players and manager have been quick to speak of getting their feet on the ground and concentrating on the next game.  If they think and train true to these comments then we should be able to notch a fifth straight win in all competitions.

Hence the nervousness – much like on Saturday when I was pondering the likelihood of three straight away wins, I do find myself thinking “Hmm, when was the last time we won five games on the bounce?” – I can’t be doing with looking it up.  Indeed, we’ve only lost one game in our last twelve.  We’ve won eight of those.  Eight.  That’s a lot!

I worry these runs and things must end, and usually in fairly unexpected situations.  Although I’m seriously hoping and thinking that this won’t be the case come Tuesday and that the mighty Reds should at the very least maintain the unbeaten home record, but I’d be really pleased to see us get that fifth win in a row.

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