Forest vs. Peterborough United preview..

Right then – first things first, huge apologies for my lack of online time over the last week or so – sad to say I got completely floored by a nasty case of man-flu that conspired to make me not only miss previewing the Palace game, but the trip itself too.  Rubbishness!  I suppose I didn’t end up missing anything too special, and am at least fully recovered and fighting fit for festive frolics.

Second things second, a huge huge huge Merry Christmas to my fellow Forest fans – we’ve had a real rude awakening this season after daring perhaps to feel a little bit like we were making progress.  I truly hope that in spite of the financial machinations of the world going into meltdown your off-the-pitch lives have been more satisfactory for you than trips to watch the increasingly less mighty Reds this season.

Thirdly, I suppose we need to face up to thinking about this here football match that takes place at the City Ground on Boxing Day.  Peterborough United provide the opposition and, well, after five games of no wins, no goals and one solitary point thanks to last weekend’s trip to Bristol – it has to be a win we’re aiming for.  That’s of course not to suggest that The Posh won’t provide a stern test of our resolve on that front.

Peterborough’s preseason ambitions were probably quite different to ours – consolidating their Championship status after battling up from League One again, and whilst we may have harboured loftier ambitions, they are currently a cool seven points clear of the drop zone whilst we retain our place within the dreaded bottom three.  Ye gods, it’s been a bloody shit end to 2011 hasn’t it?  Let’s hope we can reach the very end of the year with a couple of decent home results!

Within days of Frank Clark speaking about our future being through youth development, Forest have announced they’ve released former-Academy-player-of-the-year defender Karlton Watson and his fellow academy graduate Neill Byrne.  It would seem that despite the re-jig of boardroom duties the Forest foot-in-mouth PR machine is still in full effect, saying something with their left hand before doing something else with their left!

Meanwhile, in first-team land, the defensive crisis continues – Joel Lynch may or may not be fit to partner Chambers in defence, meaning Moussi or Moloney will be on standby to provide cover at centre-half – we’ve seen the Moose do a decent enough job at the City Ground here, and by all accounts Moloney stepped up to the plate well when called upon to cover for the injured Joel Lynch at Bristol City last weekend.  McCleary is a potential miss, whilst Morgan, Miller and Cohen are our long term casualties.

Our visitors are missing a few players too – notably Lee Tomlin, Grant McCann and Mark Little.  Lee Frecklington is a potential missing man too having limped out of The Posh’s last game against Coventry.  They are the picture of inconsistency, are Peterborough – but one thing that has been of note is that they aren’t shy of having a pop at goal, and play a nice open style which could (hey, let’s be optimistic) work to our favour.

Of course, if we’re defending like the Keystone Cops then it could become a bit embarrassing!  They haven’t won on their travels since beating Bristol City 2-1 back in October – indeed, they’ve only won one in their last six games – beating Coventry at London Road in their last game.  If there were to be a game at which to try to turn around our fortunes – this is it.  To counterbalance such positive thinking – they have brief-loanee George Boyd of course, and reserves-reject Emile Sinclair banging in the goals this season – odds on one of those two scoring, anyone?

With tickets available on the day and Forest kindly waiving the strangely levied £2 surcharge they add for tickets bought on a matchday, hopefully people will feel compelled to prize their turkey-stuffed bodies away from the frankly rubbish selection of Christmas television and cheer the lads on.  A win would do a lot to reignite my Forest enthusiasm which I freely admit has been on the wane of late!

Before all that of course we have Christmas – I hope you all have a fantastic day, and those of you choosing to brave the last minute shopping don’t get trampled.  Thanks for your continued support this year, let’s hope to see a turnaround from now!