Forest vs. Crystal Palace preview..

Three defeats on the bounce, ensconced in the bottom three – it’s not good is it?  The Reds will be eager to turn the tables on the arch-rivals of our last opponents as we welcome Crystal Palace to the City Ground.  Palace of course are on a high having reached the semi-finals of the Carling Cup recently, although did blot their copybook by failing to beat Derby in their last league outing, indeed, their league form isn’t exactly great.  It just looks good compared to ours!

As for us – we did really well at Brighton but failed to convert our chances, and failed to keep our concentration levels up.  The points column doesn’t lie, and ultimately if good play and performance isn’t capped off with a finish then it’s pretty pointless.  Despite that, the gaffer and players will hopefully take heart and come into this game with confidence to take the game to the Eagles.

Whilst it must be tempting to stick with the 4-5-1/4-3-3 type arrangement deployed at Brighton, Cotterill does have the likes of Andy Reid returning from suspension and the continuing recovery curve of Dexter Blackstock, who came through 76 minutes of reserve team action unscathed.  Depending on the fullness of your glass you could see an unchanged line-up as an attacking formation, or you could see Tudgay ploughing a lone furrow upfront.  Certainly the addition of Anderson and McCleary gave us a more direct feel.

Palace have a few issues on the injury front – Williams, Marrow and Hils are on their long-term sick list, whilst Sean Scannell was injured during Palace’s tremendous quarter-final victory over Manchester United.  It’s likely he’ll be fit to face us though, whilst former Rams defender Dean Moxey is likely to be out with a knee problem, which is a pity as he’s been red carded in his last two appearances against the Reds in both a Palace and a Derby shirt!

Dougie Freedman – the boss for the away side – is of course a former Red, albeit for a relatively short and not-exactly-blistering spell.  This, his first full season, started at a fantastic pace but seems to have stuttered in the league – of course with the not inconsiderable punctuation of an excellent run in the Carling Cup.  Having put aside the distraction of the cup for a little while, they’ll be keen to arrest their decline in league form.

It’s going to prove tricky – but frankly, if we don’t start picking up some points soon then it’s going to start looking rather dicey for us.  A positive and spirited performance would be a helpful catalyst to get the crowd behind the team – not always a given at the City Ground these days.  We could really use three points, and rather worryingly, I’m not sure whether a dogged Palace side will make it very easy for us to get.

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13 Responses

  1. The wife and I are travelling up from Essex for this, I think it has 0-0 written all over it, cant wait!!!

  2. All this talk of the crowd at the City Ground and its lack of support, I think the stuffing has been knocked out of us. So many false starts in spending £70 million we didn’t have. Pulling the plug when we were on the brink of success twice now. (Paul Hart/Billy Davies). Being saddled with mediocrity and some clearly unbelievably naive appointments as manager (Megson/Kinnear/McLaren). Not to mention the crass ad campaigns “Were serious about promotion are you?” and the more recent “Paint the City Red”. Unfortunately the only red in the City is with the embarrassment that a very dedicated and brilliant businessman has managed to spend over £70 million of his own money and got us absolutely nowhere. We’ve appointed a manager who as likeable and passionate as he appears is no winner like Billy Davies. His only sigtnificant time in this division with Burnley saw him spend just over 3 seasons taking them from mid table mediocrity to well lower table mediocrity without any sign of pushing the playoffs. We’ve got a very average and well overpaid squad at the moment and the only sign of changes is in selling the better (and I suspect lesser paid) players. Relegation is not going to be easily avoided. Is there any wonder the crowd are not exactly ecstatic and chomping at the bit for every match anymore especially when we’re paying top prices to watch what can only be described at best as mediocre with little goalmouth exitement? Even my son said to me yesterday don’t bother with tickets for Leicester I can’t stomach anymore games that I have to endure through my season ticket.

    I’m sure its not all doom and gloom but at the moment it does feel like the llub has had the stuffing and ambition knocked out of it and that is bound to get through to the fans.

    Chris Philp Sheffield based Red for over 40 years.

  3. I don’t know what to think anymore as
    each fixture approaches.
    The weeks keep ticking over & forest are
    way off the pace. I am so used to the
    reds playing well at this time of year.
    Not so this time!
    McGugan in the reserves, unsettled back
    four, no strikers in form…. I just hope
    something really does click soon.

  4. Chris I couldn’t have put it better myself. I have a total lack of excitement as each game approaches. I’m not sure were in a better position than when schteve was here! Looking at the last few games sc is making the same mistakes that the great x engeerland coach made? Thats building a team round mcgoogle not changing a cb partnership that isn’t working, then doing so but moving a player in dire form to a position he is hopeless at, playing for draws from the start, dropping the only real creative midfield player we have. It goes on!!!!

    We are in deep deep doodoo on and off the field

    Fearing the worst,hoping against hope that things are turned round.

  5. we r dooooooooooomed !!! wrong people at our club …..

  6. ……………and so sorry nffc ….how can we have done really well at brighton and lost ?? if we had done really well ..we would have played shit and got a draw …..or played extremely shit and got a win !! ….love the site ..sorry to be back …ah well ….palace away victory ..i hope not ! ..still by my guns …MARTHUR OUT ! ..and Doughnuty …god ..what a business man !! NOT !!

  7. 🙂 🙂 🙂 or be square?

  8. Mmmmmmm discontent all around and you cant blame us really the Nottingham Forest snakes and ladders crusade heads into another chapter.

    Without a recognized goalscorer and somebody experienced in midfield i predict relegation for us .Its sounds harsh but its reality and its happened 3 times before ………….

    A very uninspired Red Ric

  9. its raddy before lewis because he doesnt look interested to me.Please get greening off corners,still, u reds.

  10. What are u going to say now Steve?
    Gotta keep the boys confidence up?
    Clearly confidence has gone… Another
    loss to an average team. Dominated
    possession again, should’ve got
    something out of it will be quoted
    again. Aaaaargh.
    Can’t even earn a hard earned point
    anywhere!
    Maybe the current squad is so scarred
    from quick play off exits over the last
    two seasons that all belief to battle through
    another season has gone.

  11. I’m trying really hard not to panic, but like most Forest Fans I’ve seen this type of season before. I have noted a significant improvement in play since Cotterill has taken charge, but we are missing that spark in midfield and up-front to turn hard work into points. Something has got to give and hopefully the re-introduction of Dexter Blackstock will mean that Forest can play two forwards, as one-up-front doesn’t work well.

    We still have a serious issue with the left-back position as Cunningham is struggling and if you watch the last three games the opposition are targetting him. Most of the goals we concede come from the opposition right wing position – have a look on Forest Player for yourself. Mr Chambers cannot be excluded from blame though, as he is getting pulled out of position far too regularly.

    January is going to be VERY important and here is what I’d do:

    1. Sell Chambers (West Brom or Wigan?) and get Lascelles fit and involved with the first team.
    2. Sell McGoaldrought (or loan him to Nutts Clowty)
    3. Sell Camp (a painful choice)
    4. Listen to offers for Derbyshire / Finley / Tudgay (only one of them)
    5. Allow Cunningham to go back to Man City and put Kieron Freeman at left back
    6. Get Lynch fit and offer him a new deal
    7. Listen to offers for Chris Gunter (over £2m) and put Moloney at right back
    8. Listen to offers for Lewis McGugan (over £1.5m)
    9. Offer Wes Morgan a new deal on reduced terms
    10. Spend some of the money freed up on strengthening defence, wings and central attack.

    I think Cotterill is going to show his worth during a very busy month and his success during this period will either take us down or keep us up!

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

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