The search for the first win of the season goes on, and it takes us to what hasn’t been exactly a happy hunting ground for the Reds. The Keepmoat Stadium hasn’t proven the best of venues to seek a fine Forest performance in recent years. Of course, such things are placed infront of us to be changed, so that’s no reason to be downhearted.
Steve McClaren may opt to unleash his new striking duo of Matty Derbyshire and Ishmael Miller to try to bolster his lacklustre forward line. Of course, the defensive frailties and lumbering midfield won’t be solved by these new signings – so we’ll have to hope that lessons have been learned after two decidedly underwhelming league outings (and, in truth, a fairly underwhelming cup performance from a defensive perspective!).
Anderson remains sidelined alongside longer term victims Blackstock and McCleary – I’m not sure what’s happened with Moussi. Our injuries are fairly trivial compared to Doncaster though, they have a veritable crisis up front with Billy Sharp, James Hayter and Ryan Mason sidelined. Also missing are Brian Stock, Shelton Martis, James O’Connor and Mark Wilson.
Despite tales of woe on the treatment table and the loss of their talismanic striker who always seems to score against us though, it would take a very brave – or very foolish – Forest supporter with any experience at all to start counting chickens when all they have is a handful of eggs. We’ve hardly been in tip-top shape ourselves, so are in no position to start eyeing potentially easy fixtures (in my view).
Indeed, despite succumbing to defeat – Rovers’ last game against West Ham at home saw an impressive rally which could’ve won them a share of the spoils in the second half. Whilst they’ve yet to register a point this season, they have managed something we haven’t and scored a goal. Having said all that, this must surely be a game where Steve is looking to get his team working properly and putting the pressure on.
I don’t doubt that O’Driscoll will have his side well drilled though, and even missing some key players my recent memories of Donny are a side capable of knocking the ball around nicely. With us looking shaky at the back of late we need a much more confident performance from our back five – particularly with the likes of Coppinger likely to cause us problems on the wing.
Despite everything I’m going to go for a Reds win, if nothing else but to make browsing the forums – and indeed the comments on here – a little less depressing to read!
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