Three wins on the bounce? Sounds a bit outlandish, doesn’t it? It sounds even more so when you consider our visitors on Saturday are unbeaten in eight games and not far off the pace being set at the top end of the table. Having said that, who was expecting wins against Middlesbrough and Blackpool? I must confess, not I.
I’m not getting carried away either though – Hull are a decent well-organised side under the tutelage of Nigel Pearson, and won’t succumb easily to the slightly more promising advances of the mighty Reds. As well as undoubted improvement amongst our number, there has been luck that has been attained – particularly at Blackpool – or performances of opponents that were surprisingly poor (Middlesbrough).
Loan signing Greg Cunningham looks likely to make his debut at left-back, which frees up Gunts who covered the position in the absence of Clint Hill up at Blackpool. Whether Steve opts to stay with Chambers at right back and utilise Gunts in midfield again remains to be seen, but given the suspension to Guy Moussi he might do this to enable Jonathan Greening to drop in to the more central midfield role.
The ‘crock list’ remains the same – Blackstock, Anderson, Boateng, Cohen and McCleary all feature on the long-term sick-list. As for Hull, they may be able to call on Martyn Waghorn who’s missed a couple of games with a hamstring injury, whilst ex-Red Nicky Barmby is a potential doubt with a calf problem. Andy Dawson, Cameron Stewart and Martin Pusic are likely to miss the game.
It was Hull of course last season who put paid to our impressive run of home results – winning one-nil in a not-particularly-thrilling encounter from our point of view. A single Matty Fryatt strike was enough to seal the win for the Tigers. A similarly cagey nil-nil took place at their place earlier in the season – the first time we’d met them in a fixture for some thirty odd years if memory serves.
I’m intrigued to see what will happen – Cotterill’s first full week with the squad since arriving, and what must be an obviously more-buoyant-than-before dressing room gives cause for optimism on the terraces, but of course any battle-hardened Forest fan will know, optimism is something to be kept under strict control. It’s true we’ve come up against two games ‘on paper’ that I didn’t expect to win and did regardless, but this is definitely another one.
The main thing is that fug of dread that was creeping in to visits to the City Ground under the-other-Steve has lifted for me, I relish my trips to watch Forest again and this weekend is no different. Let’s see what Saturday brings, eh?
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