I jokingly referred to this mouth-watering fixture as the ‘Clash of the Titans’ to a friend earlier in the week. “Clash of the Titans? Clash of the Shite ‘uns, more like!” he quickly retorted. Perhaps not quite up to Oscar Wilde levels of wit, but it tickled me regardless. After a win against Leeds midweek whilst we lost at Boro the Sky Blues managed to elevate themselves to level points with us, going ahead of us in the table on goal difference.
Steve Cotterill has spoken pre-match about the need to get off to a good start. Of course, he has great credentials for stating the bleeding obvious after the erudite observation post-Boro of the fact that had we kept a clean sheet we’d have won. He’s right on both counts, a temperature-check around the online communities would suggest that if there aren’t signs of improvement then things could turn pretty ugly pretty quickly.
Ismael Miller has clearly been missing life in the treatment room, so is likely to be back there for this game with a hamstring tear, where he’ll find Moloney, Cunningham and Cohen who have longer term injuries. This indifferent injury news is met with the marginally less indifferent news that Marcus Tudgay is recovered from illness – so we can replace one immobile non-prolific striker with another one.
Our visitors are likely to miss former Forest midfielder Sammy Clingan who has a groin injury, and will be missing Richard Wood and Hermann Hreidarsson in defence with a knee injury and a dislocated shoulder respectively.
Coventry have ominously failed to win on their travels all season – a couple of Sky Blue fans I know gloomily pointed this out to me and seemed a tad confused at the resulting look of dread on my face. With two wins and four defeats in their last six, Coventry appear to be a team of ‘all or nothing’ – compared to our record of four defeats, one draw and one win – well, it’s marginally better, isn’t it?
Oddly their website is trying to bill it as some kind of local derby – which is even more ridiculous than Leicester trying to do so – however, it’s a massive game for both clubs. If Forest can’t find it within themselves to register a win in this fixture, then it really doesn’t bode very well at all for us. Hell, let’s be frank, we’d be down barring some kind of miraculous turnaround. That could only come with a change of manager.
Away from Forest, Portsmouth are back in administration and facing at least a ten point deduction which could go up to twenty. Whilst I have enormous sympathy for their supporters – when the club turned down offers for their squad in the window, yet now appear to not be able to pay for medical care for them, it’s difficult to not hope that the Football League do finally grow a pair and actually deal properly with such irresponsible practices.
Of course, that could be a bit of stone-throwing from within my greenhouse given the uncertainty surrounding our own financial position until we better understand Nigel Doughty’s last wishes regarding his commitment to Forest. Of course ten points from Portsmouth hauls them into the relegation scrap as they’d be on 25 points much like us and Coventry, take twenty and they’d be rock bottom.