Forest vs. Middlesbrough preview..

Three defeats on the bounce, into the relegation zone after eleven games – an eye witness account of a fairly typically poor showing from the boys in Red at Coventry.  These are the stats and facts that will be running through the mind of Steve Cotterill as he takes charge of his first game as Forest manager.  I imagine if he could have picked any opponent, then Middlesbrough wouldn’t have been too high on the list.

Having said that, Boro’s early storming form seems to have been replaced with a big run of draws of late – they took the lead at the Riverside against Millwall on Saturday only to be pegged back by the Lions.  That said, they’ve yet to taste defeat this season with Tony Mowbray in charge – so combining form and everything else it would take a considerable ‘new manager syndrome’ to get a win.

On the treatment table we can add Joel Lynch to the longer term ranks of Cohen, Blackstock, McCleary, Anderson and Boateng – which gives Cotterill the same limitations of selection as the previous management team.  Unless, of course, he starts to look to the youngsters for an injection of pace and urgency.  It might be a bit early in his reign to expect him to resort to that, however.

Our visitors are likely to be missing Ikeme in goal, who missed the weekend’s game with a broken finger.  Doubts surround Hines and Franks who are both back in training but still recovering from injury problems.  It seems that goals have been hard to come by of late – it’s hard to imagine that Emnes, Robson et al won’t get plenty of opportunities against our disorganised defence tomorrow.

Bearing in mind recent history – Boro are perhaps a reassuring story of a side who have had a fairly rapid turnaround of fortune in the last year or so.  Struggling despite appearing to have a decent enough squad last season, it’s taken a bit of patience and rebuilding to see them challenge under Mowbray.  Interestingly it’s almost a year to the day that Strachan resigned, just before their trip to the City Ground.

In the match at Trentside we triumphed 1-0 thanks to an early second-half goal from Lewis McGugan, whilst  at their place a rare Adebola goal got us a draw in March of this year.  Either of those results would see me leave the City Ground either pleased or very pleased come tomorrow night, which I guess illustrates the stark change-in-fortunes both teams have undergone in the last year.

Sad to say it, but anything other than defeat looks like an achievement to me on this one – and that’s a depressing thing to say about a home game.  Hopefully Steve can have an instant impact on our bunch of workshy primadonnas and get them working for him, and for each other.

15 Responses

  1. What is going on at the City Ground???
    Over the last 15-20 years a pattern has emerged at Forest. They are either challenging for promotion or battling relegation. There is never any middle ground. To me this stinks of instability.
    I cannot remember the last time we finished mid table in any division? Palace, Ipswich, Leeds have all seemingly steadied their rocky boats and rebuilt their teams. Why can’t Forest achieve any level if Stability?

    • Just cannot believe what has transpired since that 2nd leg V Swansea only a few months ago..
      A Rob Earnshaw strike hits the post with 5 minutes to go. Had we drawn level we would’ve shat all over them! Who knows from there.
      From that nervy night to a current state of self implosion in such a short period. A daunting season lies ahead for us all.

  2. werent palace in a relegation battle the last two seasons?!
    that said i agree the club need stability. Thats why I didnt want Davies sacked as the club crave stability.

    Also chambers needs to stop talking in the evening post about defending crosses, hes the one countless times beaten in the air. So get back to the training ground and learn how to head a football again!

    Ishamel Miller- you are lazy and its frustrating as you are built like a brick shit house! I was there burnley away and you were not interested and was lazy! even if you did score! We need to defend from the front. Maybe Dexter Blackstock can show you…..

  3. Just listened to SC’s press conference. Boy oh boy have we got problems. More going on at the club with the players than anyone could imagine with the sounds of it. We are deep in the mire. If they can’t be arsed to play (which is the general consensus from supporters) put them on the transfer list and get fucking rid.

  4. Paul if as we suspect that the dressing room is divided then this is were a manager earns his corn!!! It’s a great time to walk the dressing room, crack a few heads together and then deal with the no doubt inflated egos that some of the players will have.

    If they don’t or can’t play for the manager ship them on! simples!We need effort from the players. I’d play Freeman in midfield and let Jesus sit in the stands. I’ve seen the kid play he has energy makes a tackle and has good distribution.

    Of schteve signings the only one I’d keep would be Millar the others let them go and fast.

  5. RavinReg, agree on your point. I actually thought that Jesus would be a good addition to the team, how wrong could I of been. Lascelles is another who should be on the bench at least. Everyone raves about him and Freeman.

  6. I to thought jesus would be good but sadly he’s been awful. Who’s been worse him or andy reid? Answers on a postcard to………….

  7. On paper smc’s signings should all be decent and able to do a good job for Forest. I don’t think it is just down to them though. As mentioned before the team don’t seem to know their jobs. I believe they were forced into a system by smc that a) they couldn’t adapt to quick enough. b) didn’t agree with and c) probably weren’t good enough to make it work properly anyway. This has had a detrimental effect on confidence in each other. Being a new guy at a club its got to be even more confidence draining as you are desperate to prove yourself to fans and fellow pro’s. The fans see shit performances and the older players must be thinking… ‘hold on, we were in the playoffs the last two seasons and 5 players come in and now we are in a relegation battle? WTF?’ This coupled to the fact that those five probably earn more than Lewis/Wes/Camp etc and its no wonder there is a dressing room problem. Do we really think that we’d of had these results if the players were all pulling in the same direction? Yes we may of lost a few but not this many. Bad coaching and tactics from smc are one thing but when the players give up or there is no harmony amongst the squad you’ve got no chance. The desire to win regardless of form,shape or system counts for a lot and we had that desire under BD. We’ve got nothing right now and its SC’s job to instil that desire again. Biff out the players on loan causing the problems if they can’t resolve it but it has to be sorted in the next month or so.

    I think its good SC has Frank Clark to talk to and ask for advice, which is more than any other manager has had at the City Ground. He would be a fool not to use FC as sound board with regards to dealing with players problems. Like smc I’m willing to give SC a chance and probably more time than I gave smc too because he has got a shitty job on his hands and to expect results from day one is unrealistic. I think to expect good results until December is unrealistic given the terrible state of the dressing room and general club infrastructure.

    • p.s the picture of Steve Cotterill at the top looks like Dr. Zira from planet of the apes.

  8. We have to move on but the whole Mclaren appointment and his signings have been catastrophic, these additions are earning much higher wages and have caused massive unrest, possibly only one signing will prove any good and he looks like he could switch off anytime.
    How an earth we could go from play offs twice to this is farcical.
    Doughty and Marthur you should be ashamed.
    I hope SC does well, the best thing he could do is get rid off Mclarens signings as soon as possible and cut our losses, we might see some team spirit and morale to get out of this mess

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

  10. If Lacelles and Bamford are named as sustitutes I’ll be happy,and our complacent players,i.e Chambers won’t !!
    Please not Chambers as captain !!We may have a chance !!
    Changes need to be made now and players who are not in form are dropped !!We have nothing to lose !

  11. The enormity of what has been destroyed in around ten league games
    has been breathtaking – after all the painstaking efforts of Billy and the squad to build a formidable team spirit . Steve C will have the dubious honour of trying to mop things up and we need to back him to the hilt starting tomorrow pm .

    More breathtaking though has been the continued reluctance of Marthur to do the honourable thing . He seems impervious to the situation he has presided over and for me has to go ….Marthur out lets have a clean sweep ….. rant over

  12. Am glad someone else has noticed the planet of the apes resemblance, although I think he looks more like Cornelius than Dr Zira!

  13. middlesborough r so shite haha come on you reds

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