Forest vs. Reading preview..

Right then, a chance to move on and look forward in contemplating the visit of The Royals this coming weekend.  Reading, of course, usurped our play-off position at the weekend, and went on to further their advantage by beating Preston midweek to leave the Reds three points behind sixth place, and with an inferior goal difference to boot.  So both a daunting opponent, but also a great opportunity to try to breathe some life back into our alarmingly ailing season.

Reading are in excellent form, and we of course, are not.  Eight matches have passed without a win, I’m going to tactically ignore events last weekend because they’ve been covered adequately (indeed, to excess!) elsewhere – however the fall-out of that game means that we have two more additions to our absent list, as Chris Cohen is suspended and Paul Anderson is likely to be out for ‘weeks rather than days’ after a not-excessively-forced knee to the ribs at Elland Road.

Whilst results have been a source of frustration for us, there were green shoots of hope offered in recent performances, however, if we are to prevail then we really need to sharpen up our finishing.  Whilst we can task our midfield with creating opportunities more frequently for our front men, we need to be a lot more ruthless when these opportunities do arrive – something Leeds demonstrated very well at the weekend.

Reading are unbeaten in nine games, so come to us on the crest of a wave of momentum – they’re also pretty hot away from home, they’ve only lost five games away from the Madejski stadium all season – and they’ve scored 28 goals on the road.  Not least thanks to the goalscoring prowess of Shane Long, a dangerous opponent anyway, before we factor in his propensity to win penalties.

I’d love to be optimistic – but with no Cohen in midfield, and at best a not fully fit Moussi or McKenna returning I fear that we risk being over-run in midfield, which will put too much pressure on our defence (the very problem we had against Leeds once Cohen had gone off).  Reading have a lot of attacking threat, and my worry is it will prove too much for us to deal with.

On the flip-side, with a not-exactly-young back four if we can approach the game positively and press forward with pace there could well be opportunities.  Any goalscoring chances that do come our way need to be converted with much more frequency than we’ve seen of late.  Plus we do of course know to our own cost recently that all good runs have to come to an end, just as bad runs do.

Despite desperately clawing some optimism though, I fear we might be in for disappointment in this game.  Certainly the home fans can play their part – if ever the boys needed plenty of backing from the stands then this is it, so I certainly hope as many of you will join me in plenty of vocal support as possible.  A win here would give us a much needed confidence boost and adrenaline shot going into this always tricky run of fixtures.

A loss and it would be difficult to envisage much opportunity for us to reclaim a play-off spot, but of course, not impossible.  As Billy says, seasons always have ups and downs, twists and turns – lets hope our season is about to resume a more upward trajectory.

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27 Responses

  1. Come on you Reds! I agree with you, we need to get behind the players and show them our support. The fans are too quick to get on the players backs when, at the moment, they need all the help they can get. I can’t say I’m looking forward to Saturday though, I just hope we don’t get stuffed and we have a referee that knows the rules

  2. Could be forced into an attacking line up if moose and mckenna are both out.

    Camp

    Gunter Morgan Chambo’ Lynch

    McCleary Maj McGugan Tys’

    Adebola Earnshaw.

    Could be an entertaining game, lots of goals in both teams, though none of our 9 strikers could hit a barn door.

    Who is the ref this weekend, is he any good?

    • I’ve given up on hoping for a good ref! And tried to gloss over the subject, but since you asked… it’s Craig Pawson from Yorkshire, who is rather dangerously designated as an ‘up and coming’ referee. This will be his seventh Championship game and he’s never reffed a Forest game before.

  3. Majewski Stadium?

  4. I’d like to think that given we’ve only got attacking players available we’ll really go for it and if, as they’re due to, one of our strikers turns up we could see a few goals, from both sides, as we look far from secure at the back at the moment.
    But if we let Reading get on top we’ll find it very hard to get back into the game, unless he tries with Chambers in midfield as we’ve done before or maybe Konch at left mid so its not quite so gung ho. Or even a wing back type formation with the full backs pushing on and packing the midfield, albeit solely with attacking players!
    Our awful run and their good one have to end sometime and we have a habit of ending other sides’ runs, mostly bad ones, so maybe its time we ended ours.

  5. I’d like to see Boyd up front and perhaps Dele as an impact sub. We could see McGoaldrought as the second striker to play just off the front man.

    We may go with McKenna or Moussi rather than Tyson – partly because they have to regain fitness sooner than later, and partly so we can have an entire midfield beginning with the letter M!

    This does seem like the last throw of the dice. Lose and it’s curtains. Win convincingly and just maybe the Royals will wobble.

    Other than that, we can only hope for a 30 point deduction of the R’s !!!!

  6. No bite in midfield is a worry and has been since the mighty Mousses injury, and whatever we’ve tried in the meantime just hasn’t worked.

    No Cohen (anyone know if we’ve appealed against the card? Been really busy this week n lost track of things) doesn’t help, and personally I think those lack of battlers in the middle has screwed us for the season.

    That is unless Billy can work a tactical miracle and get us playing like Brazil scoring more than the opposition, maybe a variation on Harry’s suggestion to all out go for it? –

    Camp

    Gunter Morgan Chambo’

    McCleary Maj McGugan Tys’

    Tudgay Adebola Earnshaw.

    Maybe try and play sum football, but if all goes tits up hoof to Adebola and hope that one of th front 7 can bang in a flick on or several!

    • We did appeal, and it was predictably ignored – to be honest, I thought it was naive to appeal once Halsey publicly said post-match that he thought he was right even having seen a replay.

  7. If we get beat on Saturday its all lover play off wise its our biggest game of the season as far as im concerned.

    I think billy will bring Konch into midfield and go with pace on the flanks we need to get a goal as early as poss.

    Our strikers NEED TO STAND UP NOW IT SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    U reds

    • Im with you Ric – this is “do or die” – a draw is not good enough and defeat, for me, at least,sees us out of it.

      Pivotal game of the season so far.

  8. Our only hope is the players close ranks, and are angry / fired up enough to get 9 points while Cohen is out. Let’s see how much they really want it……
    I think we will come out flying to prove a point, I really hope so anyway!! COYR. do it for Cohen,
    f@%k leeds, larry, halsey and the FA !!!

  9. Hi guys, Reading fan here, we have had our injury problems ourself but we are fortunately good enough to have a deep squad with good talent. Fortunately our two top centre backs (the younger ones that have been talked about) are coming back and I expect to see Mills, Leigertwood, Hunt and Federici all to be part of the match day squad.
    I expect to see the team as:
    Federici (if fit or MacCarthy)
    Griffin Mills Khizanishvilli Harte
    Kebe Leigertwood Karacan McAnuff
    Long Hunt (if back from injury or Howard in midfield)

    Players to watch:

    MILLS CB
    Young, comitted and been linked with prem clubs hes very hard to get through

    KEBE Right Wing
    Bags of pace and skill but crosses are a little weak. If on his day than he destroys left backs and Doncaster had to sub off there left back after 30 minutes because of the problems

    MCANUFF Left Wing
    Not very fast but skillful and great crossing ability makes him a key player, our wingers are regarded as the best in the league so I would expect you not to play wing backs as was mentioned.

    LEIGERTWOOD CM
    We have not lost a league game he has plaed in since coming on loan in december. Tackles and passes brilliantly.

    HARTE LB
    Although a slight liability his free kicks can be the difference between winning and losing.

    KEY PLAYER: SHANE LONG Striker
    9 goals in last 10, 2nd top scorer. Fast, good leap, good heading abilities, great finisher and definately premier league standard. When hes on form not many beat us.

    SCORE PREDICTION
    Forest 1-2 Reading,
    just feel with your injurys and our form we have the edge due to our players being on form and ready for this one.

    OTHER
    We are expecting to fill the allocation we are given.

    Sorry if I have ‘trespassed’ but thought it would be good for you guys to hear a Reading view.

  10. On NFFC’s behalf any comments welcome so long as they are not by arrogant Leeds fans. Hope you get in the play offs, just behind us though!!

  11. Very welcome indeed, thanks mate!

  12. Interesting summary of the Reading team from Hearn161. Shane Long 9 goals in last 10 but only 2nd top scorer? Oh dear. None of our strikers could get near to matching that. Not sure about your claim that your wingers are regarded as the best in the league though. Sinclair and Dyer at Swansea are surely the best.

    I feel very sorry indeed for Big Dele Adebola. When he does get a rare sub appearance, Billy says ‘perhaps people will realise now what an asset he is’. But we all DO realise it Billy. Its YOU that has brought in (and are playing) an unfit Kris Boyd on 30k a week. PLAY BIG DELE INSTEAD!!!

    • True enough – I do not ‘get’ Kris Boyd – we have plenty of strikers who can’t score, why do we need another one? He was good for Rangers against the village sides that make up the also-rans in the SPL, but he has not cut it south of the border.

      I think our next 3 games define our season – we need 7 points from Reading, Burnley and Norwich. Can’t see it though.

  13. […] Through The Seasons Before Us (Forest Blog) […]

  14. DOUGHTY NEEDS TO PUT UP OR GO . THE TEAM NEEDS A COMPLETE OVER HAUL TO GO SHOULD BE ….Mckenna , Mcleary, Mcgoldrick . Lynch, Tyson, Adebola, Boyd, Tudgay………Simply not good enough.also have doubts about Raddy and Anderson…..Need 2 Quality Wingers Quality Strikers and 2 Quality Goalscoring / Holding / Defending Midfielders………..anyway heard billy is off in the summer and Houghton is in the frame …also Heard that SHABBA has signed!!!!!!!!!!1

    • SPOT ON MATE ……………..He has had close on 13 years,and the only thing to come out of that is the club owes him millions………..

    • Yeah Doughty out, Marthur out, Davies out, Tyson out, Tudgay out, Terry the Kitman out, the tea lady out. You guys are unbelievable at times. So ungrateful towards the squad that has made us all proud with the home record, with beating Derby twice… As far as I’m concerned Im fed up with all this moaning.
      Houghton???????? You gotta be kidding me!!!!!!! And I’ve heard from the man who usually fills with gas the car of the best man of Gary Megson’s cousin once removed that the Ginger one is on his way back to the City Ground…
      Forest til I die, irrespectible of who is at the Club helm, in the dug-out, or on the pitch. I wish we make the play-offs just to see what you are going to say then. I believed in miracles in 2007, and was vindicated. I still do and will, no matter what, since there are still 18 points to play for!

      • No disrespect vassilis but i am Forest till i die and have been for 36 years,i paid 800+ pounds out for season tickets yet again ,my investment compared to the chairman given our wages for the year is no doutbt a lot more,i have listened to the shit that comes from the Forest top brass for years and after a while it becomes pathetic, for me Billy is the only good thing ND has done ,and dont tell me about the millions he has put in,Jack Walker put millions into his club but as a true fan as ND calls himself he did not want it back……….

      • do you believe, there’s a chance to go up automatically? 😛

        • NO…………..

          • ask vassilis

            • I believe there’s a chance to go up, yes. Leeds have a far harder schedule than us and Im not prepared to lose my faith on the team that has given me so much to cheer about this season. You may say I’m a dreamer, but (I hope) I’m not the only one… Blackpool’s last season story should be a guiding light to us.

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