This is what you’ve got to work with, Steve!

Coventry City – 1
Nottingham Forest – 0

No matter how much the official site tries to dress things up, this was poor. A poor performance against another of The Championship’s poor sides, and culminating in leaving with no points to show for it to boot.  The plus side, Steve Cotterill – watching from the stands – has seen exactly what he has to work with, what our limitations are, and what he needs to fix.

Rob Kelly took charge of his only game as caretaker boss, and to be honest – and perhaps unsurprisingly – didn’t really deviate too far from the unfathomable template that Steve McClaren had previous operated under, choosing to send out the following team to face the struggling Sky Blues:

Gunter   Chambers   Morgan   Hill
Moussi   Greening   McGugan
Derbyshire   Miller   Tudgay

Depending on how you want to interpret it could be seen as bolt, shapeless or perhaps just what we’re stuck with given the absence of wingers available to us.  There was some early promise – an early surge by McGugan saw him pull back for Tudgay who hit the target, but Murphy was equal to it – Derbyshire was loitering for a rebound but was offside.

As the game developed it increasingly looked like what I suppose it was – two struggling sides doing what they do best – not a fat lot.  That said, we did create some chances – Miller had  shot from distance and won a corner, he brought a save from Murphy from an effort inside the area.  With half an hour gone the home side started to probe too.

It was that familiar story though – Coventry were bereft of confidence early, but as the game wore on began to realise that the side they faced weren’t much cop either.  Christie crossed well to Platt who got the ball goalbound meaning Camp needed to make a smart save to tip the ball over.  Another ball in found Jutkiewicz (the one on the Football League Show I always think ‘he’ll do well against us’ – oh dear!).  On this occasion he missed the target.

More danger from Coventry came when Gunts slipped and was unable to prevent a ball into the box, Wes was on hand to deal with it with a typically robust challenge that saw the home fans calling for a penalty.  The resulting kerfuffle saw the ball ending up with Bell who put a dangerous ball across the box, but there was nobody on hand to make the conversion.

Hill needed to put a good last-gasp challenge in to deny Coventry a goal just before half time.  So we went into the break thinking that maybe we’d quelled the fairly incompetent looking storm from the home side, and Kelly could instill some belief in the lads to mount one of their own in the second.  Of course, we’ve seen the score, we know that fails.  The second half started as the first left off.

There was a brief interlude – much like in the first half – a nice turn from McGugan saw him evade two challenges and burst into the box where both he and (unsurprisingly) Derbyshire went to ground in rather unconvincing fashion.  The referee waved away appeals for a penalty (quite rightly from my view), and both players should count themselves lucky not to have been cautioned.

Coventry resumed the upper hand in the battle-of-the-rubbish-teams – a cracking save from Camp kept Richard Keogh off the scoresheet.  Predictably enough though, there was no clearance, a cross went in from the right hand side with no challenge finding Jutkiewicz who couldn’t really miss, and duly headed past a helpless Camp to give the home side the lead.

The pressure mounted – a flimsy punch from Camp to the edge of the area was nearly headed in by Conor Thomas but for the attentions of Clint Hill on the line to clear off the line.  Camp was on hand to deny Bell who cut in well on the right and got a decent shot away.

A long delay after an incident between Miller and Murphy in the Coventry goal – a disappointing reaction from a small number of the Forest fans, as it transpired the injury looked quite serious the Reds fans joined the home fans in applauding the prone keeper off.  I believe his condition hasn’t been deemed to be serious after the game – which is good news.

We tried to inject a bit of pace and creativity to proceedings by chucking on Findley and Majewski on for Derbyshire and Greening.  Findley was involved quickly, utilising his pace to get on the end of a McGugan ball but missing the target.  Again it was another false dawn for the Reds as the home side again started to build pressure upon us again.

A diagonal ball into the box from Clingan gave Jutkiewicz the chance of a second – but this time his header hit the top of the bar.  With ten minutes of stoppage time announced following the injury to Murphy, the big idea from Kelly to inject some much needed urgency was to take off Tudgay and put on Andy Reid.

Reidy would show a turn of pace eventually – but after the full time whistle when he couldn’t get his considerable derriere down the tunnel any quicker, without bothering his arse to acknowledge the fans.  Anyway, I digress, because the stoppage time was frustratingly awful.  Majewski looked like he cared, he found Gunts who crossed a little too waywardly to find Miller.

Findley perhaps should’ve done better when he was absolutely gifted the ball late on, but managed to spanner it over the bar with a mis-kick.  So ended the game – frustration continues, 2,191 Reds fans made the trip, a number presumably swelled by the good will surrounding Frank Clark’s arrival (the momentum of which was cut short for some with the subsequent appointment of Steve Cotterill!).

Steve Cotterill watched this one from the stands – and as I wrote on Facebook earlier – it was good of the Forest squad to not appear to make any extra special effort compared to previous games to try to deceive their new boss.  He got a great representation of what we’ve been about this season and will hopefully even now have a clear idea about how to go about improving matters.

It’s a job I don’t envy him, and one that I’ll support him in.  I’m still struggling to fully understand how we’ve become quite so shambolic in such a short space of time, but certainly reversing that trend and rebuilding us somewhere towards where we were is going to be a monumental task.  We are now second from bottom in the league.  At this stage of the season even Doncaster are better than us.

28 Responses

  1. Shocking stuff from the players they are a disgrace to a Forest shirt and most of them need some of the old cloughie treatment through the nettles .

    I have seen this trend before it ends only one way RELEGATION …….

  2. Oh dear. And then Ish Miler lost it on Twitter. Very unprofessional, it has to be said, but at least it shows some passion, of sorts. I understand Cotterill banned Pompey players from Twitter, which may be a good rule to introduce here.

    I didn’t go to Cov. I’m glad.

  3. Most, if not all of the players need slaying after that.
    Absolute cunts. If I ever witness any of them crossing my path I’ll utilise projectile vomiting.

    Fuck you Forest

  4. Didn’t make the game this week but its more encouraging to hear that we only let 1-0 in this week, hopefully cotters will show the players the positive’s and give’s the players the confidence to express them self s in the correct way on Tuesday night…

    Some of the forest fans on here are not helping the cause, positivity from the support flows onto the pitch just look what happened the night SMC left, we let one in and the fans erupted like a volcano which only helps the other team !

  5. What is annoying is the constant moaning from fans on fan talk about Cotterill! He hasnt had one game yet!

    I would rather have cotterill who knows the league and is a defensive coach so will sort our poor defence out than gamble on roy keane because that is a time bomb waiting to go off.

    Its getting beyond a joke the constant moaning by forest fans.
    For example, people blamed Pleat, then Arthur, then Doughty, then Mcclaren.

    When cotterill was linked, fans were saying Arthur OUT because it looked a negative appointment. But when they find out it was Clark who wanted him too, its deemed as an ok appointment now.

  6. Forest were so poor today- too poor sides played out a dull and uninspiring affair.

    4-3-3 doesn’t work for reds. The only player who did himself justice was miller but he had no service and he can’t be expected to out muscle the whole coventry defence on his own. Derbyshire was anonymous and tudgay was rubbish as usual. We desparately need to sign two wingers to get service to the front player (miller) as for the
    rest well we look so poor this is the worst forest side since the Kinnear days- a hard task for the new manager to turnaround.

    He may wish he’d stayed at portsmouth!




  7. We are a team in deep shit. All the positive work by Billy – who was far from perfect I fully accept – has been undone in a disastrous close season. The team was far from the finished article but the was enough esprit de corp, focus and confidence to offset this last year. Those key elements of teamwork and leadership have evaporated leaving an incoherent, badly led, badly organised, half-hearted group to argue and bicker. Doughty and Arthur are the architects behind this fall from grace with the latter still wielding his wand of incompetence throughout the club. I hope Steve Cotterill does well and he will get my support but the rot has set in at Forest far deeper then the managers position. Sorry to be negative about Frank Clark as I loved as both player and manager but I fail to see what credentials he has got to run an organisation so badly in need of change and re-birth. I fear he is a distraction whilst the dark-prince of Arthur continues to increase the malaise and apathy. On field there is no competition for places in the back four, The senior players in Greening and Boateng appear to have little influence except negative ones on the team and Reid is a big FAT zero. Only plus signs are that Magic has improved, Camp appears on the mend and Findlay makes chances; jury is still out on Miller and Matt (can’t bring myself to type his surname)! Chambo is captain in name only as I see little action that justifies that title and it is weighing heavy on him being the honest trier that he is. On field it is going to be difficult – we are relegation fodder at the moment – but as a Club we are in far bigger shit.

  8. This performance defines NFFC’s season so far – not quite good enough upfront, in the middle or at the back. Thinking about last season this team had many games like this one, but they managed to keep a clean sheet and earn a point. The change is all down to “change” in my opinion, which has knocked the players off balance and has ultimately drained their confidence. I was amazed when Kelly said that no-one has discussed the appointment of the new manager – there’s no wonder the players are distracted as their heads will be full of questions and doubts. Kelly should have had a chat with them about the appointment and said “this is your big chance to show him as he’s in the stands today” – I’m sorry but you missed a trick mate!

    I am already sick of hearing about the squad being small – Billy kept saying it, SMc walked in saying it and even Kelly said it in his after-match interview! In my opinion if the coaching staff can work on getting/keeping players fit, our situation will be better served with a compact squad where the players are fighting for each other. I really hope that Cotterill doesn’t jump on this band-wagon as it’s just an excuse and the club needs a “backs to the wall” attitude.

    Although many fans are unhappy about the appointment of Cotterill I think he has a number of things going for him which should improve the situation:

    (i) able to work with a small squad and reduced budget;
    (ii) reputation of setting teams up to be hard to beat (ala Billy);
    (iii) he’s a disciplinarian (much needed – Miller on Twitter);
    (iv) he’s a good motivator who knows how to get the best out of individuals;
    (v) he’s big mates with Billy Davies.

    If you look at the list above most of these attributes could be aligned to Davies and this squad needs someone who is going to kick their arses and push them all the way (just like he did). I think the fact that Cotterill and Davies are mates will help, as they’ll talk about the set-up and the players meaning Steve will have an advantage over other candidates.

    One of the first things Cotterill should do is promote Steve Chettle into the first team set-up and get him teaching our defenders how to defend again (as well as telling our midfielders how to defend). This is what has been lacking all season and the club were foolish in sacking Chris Fairclough – it’s no accident that our defence has evapourated since his departure.

    It’s not going to be pretty for some time, but I am confident that these players can turn it around by Christmas. COYRs!

  9. …………AHAAA !!!! CLARK WANTED COTTERILLILLY !!! dont take the piss ……….pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese……….for gods sake …..our club is being run exactly the same as its always bin !! cheap n cheerful need money where it hurts an matters ..we havent got it ..simples !! MARTHUR AND THE MUPPETS ARE STILL THERE ….and like i said previous ..clark was a major pr stunt …dont be blinded by it …Madonna!!! TUTTI MERDER !!. (for the italian section of forest supporters)!..Majeski should be on from the go …morgan is finished …young players to be introduced to gee up the sqaud…no money change ..thats how its gonna be ..until the club is PUBLICLY PUT UP FOR SALE !! ………..until then we go nowhere ……………FORZA ABRUZZESE !!!

  10. oh……..and ..deeping red …you understand the situation …i like to read your comments ….VIVA !!

  11. …….and there was only one cheap man to correct this quickly …………..and ……MARTHUR AND HIS MUPPETS SACKED HIM !!!! BILLY WAS OUR HERO ….HE ROUSED THE PLAYERS AND THE FANS !! WHICH I HADNT SEEN EVER SINCE MR.CLOUGH !


  13. no width ,no cover, 4 3 3 away from home ,taxi for rob anyone, space for marthur.FFP in league one,smaller squad?

  14. Awful performance & although comments about Cotterill have been largely negative @ least he’ll get amongst the over-paid ‘shower of shite’ like Billy did.
    The set up of the team is all wrong and it’s not exactly rocket science to fix it- defensive midfielder ala McKenna and play with width to help stop the crosses. Again; this does not necessarily require big money-signings. He can blood some youngsters, bring in a couple of good loan players and scout the lower leagues. The answer is not over-paid shite like what McClaren’s brought in!!
    This is not a desperate position as we still have a good core of a playing staff and I think Cotterill is a very good man-manager. He’ll get it right as the squad is hugely superior to the one Billy had on arrival. Let’s have a bit of positivity the poor bugger hasn’t even started yet!!!

  15. DeepingRed is spot on —— I am convinced like you that Arhtur has to go – the fans cant stand him …even the announcement of cotterill was broken by Cotterill himself before the club – how crap is that .

    Arthur out – first job for Frank – please frank get someone professional in to run the club .If he is so respected by other clubs as Doughty says – then they can f****** have him .

    in the meantime the players need to shape up or ship out as well
    this has a nasty stench of league one again .

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

  17. Spot on Deeping Red, a catastrophic close season, sacking Billy (yes he was not perfect-Tudgay purchase!!!- but who is?) appointing Mclaren signing highly paid players many of which sit on the bench Reid and Boeteng.
    Forest are in a mess and both Doughty and Arthur have screwed up big time, how we can be in the play offs in the last 2 seasons and are now in the bottom 2 is disastrous.
    Cotterill has enough time to get us out of relegation trouble but it is incredible we even have to mention this dreaded word,
    I hope Frank Clark has the sense to get Arthur out, what role Doughty has now -owner? As always the communication from owner and chief exec is non existent and has been for years, a complete disgrace.

  18. I wonder what Lacelles,our International defender who is on form,thinks watching our inept display for several games now by Chambers and Morgan,and he is not even one of the substitutes !!
    Chambers is NOT a captain !!!
    In fact we don’t have one !!
    Camp or Hill ar the only ones I can think of…Any suggestions ??Another of our reserve forwards would have provided more spirit and energy against coventry reserves than our lot !
    Very disappointed we threw away 3 points !!
    Mcgugan again was class and his thought process often far ahead of his dozy team mates !
    Regarding Arthur,He is a Liability and HAS TO GO !!!
    Tuesday will be …er..interesting !

  19. I think we have to leave the MArthur hate at the door. Given our current predicament can we afford to whinge and wail at the expense of unity behind the new manager? He certainly wasn’t at the top of my list, but he certainly wasn’t on my avoid list either. I think he’s got something to prove, knows the league, knows the town, should be able to kick the defence into shape, no bad thing.

    Ultimately MArthur is here to stay, accept it and move on. Would people rather we got relegated in order for him to be kicked out? There’ll be no money for Steve2 to spend, so we’ve got to stick with what we’ve got, and get behind the team. Maybe a tad naive mayhaps on my part, but I don’t fancy playing Yeovil Town again.

  20. On Saturday I took myself along to watch Mansfield. Whilst it wasn’t a high quality game it was end to end and I saw 26(?) players put in a shift for 90 mins, something I’ve not seen at the City Ground all season.

    Deeping Red is my mate and he is spot on there is a malisee at the club that the last two seasons have papered over. We are to put it bluntly in a relegation battle now after 11 games. Historically it’s not something we do well ,fight relegation. But the players need to roll up their sleeves and put in a shift. We as suporters need to get behind the new man, god that was hard to say. At least give him a chance, I rather suspect he’ll be gone by the end of the season and we will be back in Division 1.

    “If your all going to Yeovil, all going to Yeovil, all going to Yeovil, clap your hands”

  21. I’ve been saying to myself for months now that it can’t get any worse but I really hope we bottomed out on Saturday: losing to a shite Coventry team in a half-empty stadium with Rob Kelly picking the side. I wasn’t thrilled when I heard the Cotterill announcement but if he’s half the manager Clark thinks he is then he should at least improve us. I think the Championship is weaker this season than it has been for a while so we really ought to be OK (frustrating though because the Forest of last season would have had a great chance this year).

    I agree that we need to forget about Arthur for now and just get behind the team. We can make a difference – negative or positive.

    There’s also an interesting and unusually honest Chambers interview on the official site. I guess it’s reassuring to know that he cares but it doesn’t exactly point to a united dressing room. Another problem for Cotterill to sort out..

  22. this is why we cant leave the MARTHUR issue !!! Steve Cotterill is now consigned to the Pompey history books and there are plenty of Pompey fans who are clearly relieved that is the case. Throw in the fact Nottingham Forest have had to pay PFC for the privilege releasing him from his contract (not to mention avoiding having to pay up his contract in the event of a sacking) and this parting of the ways suits all concerned.

    Cotterill’s position at Fratton Park was becoming increasingly untenable as a string of relatively poor results this season continued. Fans were beginning to vent their frustration at perceived ‘long-ball’ tactics and a feeling the manager was failing to get the best out of the players at his disposal. In a poll on the site before his move to the City Ground, more than 70% of fans thought Cotterill should be sacked.
    ……………………………………………hes not the man for the job ….simples !

  23. Tim Crutchley makes an interesting observation about laying off MArthur and I understand and see some sense in the point he makes. However, there is a malaise behind the scenes at the club. We lack a coherent strategy, the communications are poor, we consistently fail to bring in the right players at key times (note I don’t mean stellar signings) and we are spending £2 for every £1 we bring in through the turnstiles and tills. Put simply Forest are not a well run business and whilst you might accept such financial inbalance over a season or two to gamble on success and the hallowed grounds of the premiership, Forest have been managed like this for 10 years. Read Swiss Ramblings enlightening account of our finances, read the ‘A Decade of Dross’ blog; these paint a sorry picture of a club being badly run! If this is not down to the CEO then I fail to see who is responsible but such a malaise wil/can/is permeate an organisation from top to bottom. Simply changing the manager and doing nothing else if we survive relegation will paper over the cracks yet more. I don’t want to be relegated, I have had enough of that the last time but I firmly believe Forest need to re-invent themselves to bring about lasting success. I am not just worried about the team, I am worried about the Club as a whole. Arthur has to go but of course I acknowledge that he is Doughty’s man and he is still the owner which kind of makes my point about being suspicious of the role of our new Chairman even though he is a man I respect greatly.

    • Well put DeepingRed. I agree that ultimately a root-and-branch change is needed at the club, that Swiss Ramble is a very interesting and saddening read. But I’m worried that the negative attitude towards the ownership and managment will put us down and then, given that the chairman is going to tighten his purse strings still further, we are up that creek. It’s a difficult call to put potential long-term gain over a definite short-term sufference.

      • It is a fair concern Tim, indeed, I refused to join the so-called ‘protest’ because I did not see that overwhelming short term change and uncertainty would achieve anything other than cause confusion. I still don’t think the protest had any impact as I firmly believe Doughty had chosen an exit strategy well beforehand and merely sensed an opportunity to implement it ‘on the hoof’ after the Birmingham game. I am sure Steve Cotterill will repair the damage done on the field and hopefully it will start before Christmas but I predict a tense time ahead. Nevertheless, I still think change at Board level is required even if that change is just in how business decisions are made at the Club. Time will tell if there has been positive change in this respect and also if Frank Clark will have a galvanising effect off the field. However, I re-iterate my point that I remain unclear on what his role and delegated authority from the owner actually is. Unless Clark has effective command and control and the power to make things happen his way (albeit I am still unsure what his credentials are to run a business) then his appoinment is a meaningless other that to deflect criticism . I truly hope my concerns, some would say scepticism, are totally unfounded. Bottom-line is I’ll still be there tommorrow, misguided fool that I am!

  24. I am not for a minute suggesting we don’t get behind the boys or Steve. I said just the same with the other Schteve as well .

    But again I say Marthur out – he is the one person who has presided over this debacle – simple question – did he agree to the sacking of Billy ? if yes he should like Doughty do the honorable thing ….
    if he disagreed then why didn’t he speak up and resign at that point ? .

    CEO’s in my experience carry the can for the whole organisation
    that is why Marhtur must go .

    • I cannot see Forest being able to truly turn the corner with Marthur at the helm and he should go without doubt IMHO but I think Tim made a valid point that we need to stabilise the ship first.


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