Groundhog day..

Nottingham Forest – 0
Doncaster Rovers – 0

A frustrating afternoon, for sure.  Whether it justified the booing at full time I would question, making a disappointing performance on the pitch compounded by an equally disappointing reaction from some of our ‘supporters.’

Once again we are left with the bitter-sweet realisation that quite a few other results went rather well for us, soured by the fact we didn’t capitalise.  Of course, Norwich and Cardiff have yet to play their games this weekend yet – so we could yet end up falling further by the promotion wayside.  However, as Billy said post-match, despite everything we are still in a very favourable position.

Billy made a few changes after Tuesday’s disappointing slump at the Blades, introducing McCleary for a rare starting berth, Majewski and Earnshaw started – with Anderson and Adebola moved to the bench, McGoldrick not in the squad at all…

Gunter    Morgan    Chambers    Konchesky
Cohen    McKenna    Majewski    McCleary
Earnshaw    Tudgay

Despite my residual grumpiness, it was a pretty good start for the Reds.  They pressed forward and made Donny look very uncomfortable – but, in what was to be a recurring theme, they couldn’t convert possession in the final third into a decent opportunity to test the visiting goalkeeper.  On their rare forays forward Donny were restricted to long range efforts – but at least they were getting shots in!

Forest were passing the ball around quite well early doors – Tudgay played the ball to Gunts who was haring down the right, he put in a delicious looking cross which McCleary couldn’t get on the end of.  Really I would’ve expected a striker to be in there somewhere.  McKenna played the ball through to McCleary but he couldn’t get his cross past his marker.

Donny started to come to life a bit more as the half hour mark approached – a long range effort from Wilson as just over, and amusingly a chunk of the visiting fans thought they’d scored when I thought a freekick quite clearly went over.  It certainly gave the home fans a welcome diversion from the increasingly nullified game by occasionally apeing the cheering after random incidents in the game.

Our first of very few shots on target came with about ten minutes to go before half time – and to be honest, it was never likely to yield a goal.  Majewski struck the ball from a way out, and it looked a fairly routine stop for Woods to make.  Arguable a better chance fell for Tudgay, a decent ball from Konchesky in to him on the D saw him get a good connection, but missed the target – and he really should’ve done better.

At the end of the half we were gifted a great opportunity – a miss-kick from George Friend fell very favourably for Earnie, but Woods was very quick to come out and close down and rather than slip the ball under the ‘keeper  he went for power, and Woods was able to get a very good save in.  After this Earnie oddly ended up sitting down by the half way line before eventually going off, looked like a hamstring injury.

We weren’t able to get Tys on despite him being stripped and ready before the half time whistle.  So we were drawing, we had undoubtedly had the best of the first half, but really struggling to break down a mostly-well-organised Donny side – compounded by our own lack of craft and movement in unlocking that final opportunity to get a decent effort in on goal.

So the second half started with the introduction of Nathan Tyson to replace the injured Earnshaw, and frankly, that was probably the most interesting thing to have occurred.  We seemed intent on giving the ball away for ten minutes, whilst Donny were content to sit – it wasn’t ’til Chambers took matters into his own hands, and when he had nobody to pass to he just took the ball forward and looked a bit confused to end up at the edge of the area and having a shot which ultimately won us a corner.

Kris Boyd replaced Majewski on the hour, with Tys moving more to the left, but the game was really still very stagnant.  Donny had another effort from range, this time from Mason which was just wide and certainly looked to have the beating of Camp.  Billy put on McGugan for Tudgay to try to inject some creativity into proceedings, I would have been inclined to replace McCleary who was looking a combination of out-of-depth and unconfident.  Then again, Tudgay looked tired.

The changes didn’t seem to do much in our favour, though, it was Donny again capitalising on our poor retention of the ball and Mason again shooting from range – and fortunately for us – not hitting the target again.  At the other end another decent cross from Gunts found Tyson, but he couldn’t get his header on target.  McCleary was starting to get more into the game too, and a powerful effort from a tight angle was cleared off the line by Hird.

With time running out the Reds were trying to create but labouring, finally Lewis did really well and got the ball to McCleary who had time to take out a cigar, smoke it whilst contemplating his opportunity, adjust his monocle and perhaps even indulge in a little snooze before calmly slotting his chance into the net.  Alas, he bumbled controlling it and by the time he shot it was blocked well by Friend, and out for a corner than inevitably led to nothing.

Coppinger got on the end of a counter-attack but dragged his shot wide – after that Forest actually started to look like they were playing with a sense of urgency, a Cohen cross was unconvincingly punched clear by Woods preventing Tys getting on the end of it, and Boyd should have opened his Forest account after a good Tyson break down the left, he held it up well waiting for reinforcements to arrive and played it neatly to Boyd on the penalty spot – unfortunately he totally missed the ball!!

That was pretty much it – it was a disappointing afternoon’s work from the boys for sure, because whilst they had their moments, Donny looked there for the taking today – which isn’t surprising given their injury situation.  A few people remarked in the first half that “if we can get an early goal here we could have a rout”.  Credit to Donny, they defended well and harried in midfield, and certainly I think they were good value for a draw.

26 Responses

  1. Great report again. This season is starting to look more and more like the League 1 promotion campaign. I’m trying to be positive here. With the international break looming and a number of key players looking to return – in particular Mousi – I think Forest could improve and push on during April.

    Overall I thought Forest were frustrated by the opposition’s tactics of keeping the ball in air for as long as possible. We have all witnessed performances like this in the first half of the season and seen Forest come away with a late winner. In my opinion that is what has changed in the second half; possibly due to the long injury list and mental fatigue. Chris Cohen gave the most honest interview I have ever heard from a professional footballer afterwards – you cannot fault the team spirit and desire this season!

    Finally, I have to agree that booing the team at full time is not the most constructive action! I haven’t felt the need to boo since Forest lost against Barnsley live on SKY TV when CC was in charge – they were chuffing awful!

    • So, you’re saying that despite going on an irritatingly poor slump of form, Fores may still finish second?

  2. How Davies can say that was a very valuable point is beyond belief! Im sure 3 would be even more valuable!

    The fact remains this was a depleted doncaster team that we SHOULD be beating.

    Billy said post match against sheff utd that we need 6 points from next two games. Now its only possible to get 4 now with what would be an outstanding result to win at swansea.

    I still believe though…. U REDS

  3. I dont know what to say really seems like the lack of confidence and fatigue is really taking its toll.Saying it how it is in my eyes is not being a doom monger your report last week was frank but honest.

    I have felt for a long time the side has been toiling and kinda felt this might happen .Im a Davis fan but have felt ream selections a little odd recently maybe hes looking for a spark its not coming though.

    Our next run of games is tough and I cant see a miraculous turn around after the break the side looks shot.If we make the play offs I will be very surprised and a bloody nervous wreck.

    U reds

  4. well done for getting a report out on that game cos i wouldn’t have wanted to. Absolutely nothing happened of any significance at all. A poor game against a poor side.
    Does anyone want to get promoted from this division?

  5. I see a headline, Davies pleased with point gained ! Christ, we couldn’t beat Doncaster reserves at home ,and he’s pleased !!!!!
    What’s happening ??????
    Hopefully we will be motivated to beat swansea before the break,which we obviously need !!

  6. I share the frustration. Hard to stay positive but I’ll try…..

    I thought mcleary did nothing wrong first half. It is clear other players are keen to pass to him now, and he causes the opposition problems running at them. He’s come on a long way since last season’s immaturity.

    True enough he faded in the second half, but I’m not surprised given his lack of games.

    Boyd did little but the wee fella says the big fella is a couple of weeks away from full fitness.

    Suddenly we are all looking forward to seeing Findlay!

  7. […] the original post on Through the seasons before […]

  8. …. And today I am a Barnsley fan! Oh yes! 🙂

    • Well, good for you man, because the Tykes have just held Bluebirds 2-2. They’ve done it. Thank you, Andy Gray. Thank you SO much!! 🙂

  9. And tomorrow I will be a Bristol City fan!!

  10. So will I. Great result from Barnsley now we can hope that Norwich do not get a result against Bristol City and that we can get some sort of result against Swansea. In this comment I have said the word hope. Had we been able to capitalise on our games in hand and our poor run of results against the bottom teams we would have been free and clear now, however that is not what supporting the Reds is all about. We must do it the hard way or it does’nt count.From your match reports and what I can access on the net it looks as if the team is tired and lost it’s way a little so in that respect the break cannot come soon enough if we get the moose back that will be a bonus as I believe we have missed his drive and whilst Paul McKenna is good at what he does he does’nt have that youthful unpredictability. We can look forward to a very tense end of the season at the right end of the table which I for one am quietly confident we will get what we deserve, Premiership football? watch this space.

    C’mon U Reds

  11. Fair report as usual nffc.

    I’d like to comment on McGugan, if I may…

    Last home match versus Hull, Billy Davies berated him and told him to “work, Lewis, work”. I sit behind the dugout and that is what we heard. McGugan shrugged his shoulders, shouted “what the f**k do you what me to do, for ****sake?” and sloped away. Billy was furious, and turned to the bench and said something to Fairclough. Lewis was subbed after an hour.
    Yesterday, you may have noticed that BD wasn’t in the dugout in the first half. Ned asked Lewis to warm up and his response disgusted me. He held up the palm of his hand and said “nah, it’s alright”.
    Sorry, but that attitude stinks. Although I feel Lewis is arguably our most creative player (when played in the correct position) he is a professional footballer employed by NFFC.
    Big-time charlie, I’ve lost all respect for him.

    • Mattyboy,must be nice to sit behind the dugout and hear whats being said.On McGugan, if thats the case i’d deduct his f*****g wages.He’s a big headed p****k who thinks he’s better than he actually is.I posted a couple of comments recently about unrest at the club (direct from one of the players I might add) looks like its true.

  12. ‘Mattyboy’ –
    I am with Lewis on this one. I see Lewis’s situation as similar to KFC when he played for us: Lewis, like KFC before him, is totally p*ssed off with an incompetant manager who keeps leaving him on the bench. Quite how on earth Calderwood thought KFC was often not good enough for League One is beyond me. Similarly, Lewis should be one of the first names on the Forest teamsheet each week, instead we have to suffer the likes of McCleary and the increasingly woeful Anderson. Davies out!

  13. Mattyboy – totally agree. Lewis at the moment is a disgrace.
    Warming up at half time with his hands in his pockets and then played like he had his hands in his pocket when he came on.
    He will waste his undoubted talent because of his poor work ethic, even Radio Nottingham commented on him just ‘jogging back’ when Rovers were attacking.

    Why hasn’t anyone come in for him ? lots of clubs have watched him but don’t like his attitude or work rate. Billy will bomb him out and righly so.

  14. Well it’s a good job Clough managed Robertson the way he did.
    McGugan is a quality player and we would be nowhere near the top six without him this season. If any of us were McGugan with that amount of ability and we were on the bench with likes of McCleary and McGoaldrought starting like they have done in the last two games we would be pissed off as well. If McGugan played for any other team in this division he would start every game. Just like QPR , Swansea and Cardiff for some strange reason play their best players all of the time. Crazy tactic but it just may work.

    • Robertson’s case was totally different. Robbo had totally lost his self-confidence and was about to be shipped out because no one believed in him b.C. Cloughie just worked his magic to turn him into the Glory Days Team MVP (sorry Shilton, Birtles, Woodcock, Francis, Burns et al., but in my book, there’s no question about it).

      In Lewis’s case, everyone believes in him, but he certainly has an attitude problem. It was obvious last season when Billy almost always used him as a sub. He responded by scoring late goals and I thought the problem would get solved at some stage, but apparently that hasn’t happened. His talent cannot be questioned; his work ethic, the hell it can. He won a place as a starter thiw season, scored a few wonderful goals, then slipped again into “Big Shot” status.

      Red Paul above said that no one comes calling for him anymore. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

      Then again, it’s Billy’s job to turn him back to the player we all want to see playing for Forest.

      And yes mr bad example, I want to get promoted.

  15. two players both overweight and not playing to thier potential.
    One with a poor diet one with a suspect attitude.
    Clough praised and installed confidence in robertson
    billy gives more praise to mcgoaldrought , dele ect
    all i am saying is clough got the best out of robbo and i dont see billy doing the same.
    of course we all want promotion..

    • I think its got to be a two way street. Billy made him shape up, lose weight and take a look at himself. And the results were there to see. Now I don’t know if he has gained a load more weight but his form has dipped and like everyone at the club (including Billy) they are looking for excuses instead of looking at themselves.

      I think McGugan thinks of himself as a Fabregas and doesn’t deserve to be treated like he is. But he’s not even close to him. He doesn’t understand that talent alone is not enough to make a great player. Surely dedication, teamwork and good attitude all combine with the talent to make you great. If Stan Collymore had Stuart Pearce’s attitude and work ethic he would of been the best player in the world.

      Right now all we know is that McGugan has potential to be very good and is able contribute a great deal during a match but if his form, workrate and attitude slip is the manager not right to point this out?

  16. Mcgugan just has have a look @ himself nobody-else. If he’s dis-respecting those around him like the manager and the assistant manager, then he’s disrespecting the supporters.
    If he wants to be the first name on the teamsheet then he needs to earn it. In the last ten eight matches we’ve played he’s been as poor as everyone-else!! To compare Billy to CC; well that doesn’t even warrant a response…

  17. Very disappointing to read that about McGugan. Im not defending him but I can imagine he is pretty frustrated gathering splinters on the bench when he is our best player and his goals are the reason we are where we are. I hope Billy manages to get the best out of him for the run in.

    I do find the Boyd signing strange after all Billy has said previously about not bringing in other teams players to give them match time. We are apparently paying his full 30k a week wages and Im sure the other strikers are none too thrilled at being knocked further down the pecking order. Big Dele cant even get on as sub and McGoldrick not even in the squad?

    I’m sure Boyd is a decent striker when he is fit but it seems a huge gamble to be taking right now.

  18. Aylesbury Red; I agree about Boyd as appears to be a desperate roll of the dice, although I suppose not much quality out there…

  19. paul, heanor red…yeah, sitting behind the dugout can make even the most boring game a little bit more interesting!
    We know who’s going to come on as a sub long before it happens, what BD thinks of a missed pass or shot, the crack he has with the likes of Terry the Kitman etc. If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard “move the ball forwards, on the f*cking ground” bellowed from the technical area I’d be a wealthy man!
    What is very apparent however, is the rapport and team spirit between the players. The likes of MacCleary and Goldie are very popular, and there is always a good spirit among the subs.

    My problem with Lewis is attitude, not talent. Played as a striker or link man between midfield and the forwards i feel he could be devastating. But he wont work to retrieve a wayward pass, or cover a breakaway and as we all know BD likes grafters in his team.
    Billy seemed to have sorted him out (although its funny that this coincided with Garners departure…), but sadly Lewis seems to have slipped back into believing the hype.

    Sorry my comments seem to ramble on a bit!

  20. I thought Maccleary was our most dangerous player on saturday and the only one who looked like making something happen, as he usually does when he replaces the continually ineffective Anderson. He did fade, and miss the games best chance but since he’s been here i cant imagine he’s started more than 20 odd games so he literally has no experience of playin the full 90 at anywhere near this level, so i think he can be forgiven for fading and can only get better, that said he really should have scored!
    Mgugan continues to frustrate but ultimately needs to sort himself out and not give Billy any excuse not to pick him by performing week in week out which in his career he’s yet to manage.
    Mgoldrick looks increasingly useless to me. He’s been fit long enough now to have made an impact but continues to underwelm. With our current squad he would be the player i wouldn’t bother including on the bench for sure.
    To be paying Boyd’s full wage and for him to not even be fit seems crazy? Whatever happened to the days when unfit players would play for the reserves to build up fitness, i cant imagine Boyd played yesterday but surely thats the best way forward.

  21. i agree siggsy regarding mcleary, he was by far the most dangerous player for us on saturday and looked like he wanted to attack!

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