Ah, it’s been nice to have a weekend without Forest to spoil things, hasn’t it? Well, if you brush aside the whispers of who’s leaving and when. So far the only confirmed news on that score are Leicester and their bids for Wes Morgan – but, of course – it would certainly be the Forest way to pave the way for departures as the transfer window draws to a close and we’re not able to replace any outgoing players.
Interestingly Tuesday’s opponents seem to have been linked with Luke Chambers too. It’s fair to say that since assuming the role of captain we’ve not seen anything like the best from Chambo, although even the most vehement scapegoater of the number four would probably admit it would be folly to let him and Wes go without any form of incoming replacement. £1.2m and two unidentified fringe players – doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Probably just made up bollocks as usual at this time of year.
Anyway, the match. Burnley are currently sitting very much in the realms of mid-table sandwiched between Derby and Leicester. Closer to having an outside sniff of the play-offs than being dragged into a relegation mire – although with considerable competition from many would-be promotion contenders. They are real yoyoers in terms of form – November started with four defeats, but ended in two wins taking them into December where they lost only once – at home to Portsmouth.
January for them has been a mixed bag but more negative – defeats away at Leeds and Norwich in the FA Cup, followed up with a win away at Middlesbrough. Derby were their last opponents at Turf Moor where they ground out draw with Nigel Clough’s men. They come to us on transfer deadline day, so we might well find certain players turning out for the last time in the Garibaldi before putting their names to contracts with other clubs.
Having started January with a win at Ipswich, and subsequently recommenced the awful run of neither winning nor scoring goals, perhaps a glimmer of hope is offered by actually bagging a goal against West Ham in our last outing. Then again, we’ve had glimmers of hope before – they need to start shining a little more brightly if we are to haul ourselves from the drop zone. Our last win at the City Ground was the middle of November, also – embarrassingly – against Ipswich Town.
With a ticket offer available there might be a slightly larger crowd than the evening fixture and general malaise would ordinarily have garnered. I can’t say that I’m particularly enjoying the prospect of freezing my proverbials off whilst enduring what promises to be another laboured exchange at the City Ground. It’s not going to be an easy game against Eddie Howe’s men, particularly if it’s true that Wes Morgan won’t be a Forest player by then (being suggested as I type that he’s off for a medical at Leicester tomorrow).
So, maybe this means Moussi back in defence or perhaps Lascelles will get an opportunity to taste some first team action. He should not be the only youngster under consideration too, given Patrick Bamford’s nine-goals-in-two-games haul in the youth cup recently he must be at least in Cotterill’s thoughts for his goal-shy team, mustn’t he? I’ve no idea whether he’s ‘ready’ or not – but my god we could do with some goals, and he seems to be in the mood for ’em.
As ever, it seems, I don’t hold much hope for much positivity from the Reds – but as ever I’m hopeful that they can somehow conspire to prove me wrong and start to show signs of having the drive and capability to drag us out of trouble. It is starting to feel rather like a forlorn hope, but having had a bit of time out from the pressures and more time to work with Sean O’Driscoll on the training ground perhaps there might be better times to come.
On a completely unrelated but very sad note I read in the news that Colin Tarrant had died – I’ve got really happy memories of his role as Brian Clough in the local play ‘The Spirit of the Man’ written by Stephen Lowe. Probably more famous for his role in ‘The Bill’ – but I never saw that! For his Brian Clough role he’d worked well on the mannerisms and voice and really gave – appropriately enough – spirit to the character. Up there with Michael Sheen’s Clough for me (in both cases, in productions I wasn’t massively fond of in truth!). Rest in peace, Colin.
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