Forest vs. Blackpool preview..

In what’s been a not particularly auspicious season of home games, it’s not exactly sad to think that this is the penultimate game at the City Ground of the campaign.  A win here, and barring some extraordinary results in the last three games of the season, it would be a case of safety assured, forget this season ever happened and move on.  Or something.  Sounds a bit fairytaleish at this juncture, and we don’t tend to trade in those too often.

An impressive and dominating performance against Peterborough will hopefully give the lads confidence and avoid that straight quality-sapping soporific effect our own turf seems to have on the players.  Certainly after the disappointment of our last home match against Bristol City I would hope manager and squad alike are keen to put that behind them and deliver a decent result for the City Ground crowd.

Of course, there’s the small matter of our opponents to consider.  Blackpool have still get heir eye on a play-off finish – they’re currently sitting in fifth place with the likes of Brighton and Boro sitting four points behind them in seventh and eighth.  The Seasiders are on decent form too – they’re unbeaten in three games and at this juncture will probably welcome nothing more than a trip to the easiest away game in the league to pick up points.

Forest will be without Garath McCleary – his red card against Peterborough was unsurprisingly upheld by the Football Association appeals process, presumably because we’re not a massive Premier League team (and, in truth, it was a reckless challenge).  When the opponent manager sticks up for your dismissed player though you’d think they’d show a little leniency.  But no, Gaz will be missing sadly.

We have doubts surrounding Guy Moussi too – he withdrew from the game at London Road shortly before kickoff with issues around his calf.  This of course led to a surprise inclusion for Lewis McGugan – who hadn’t even made the bench – and the midfielder put in an impressive performance, which might have earned him a return to the fold.  Whether Anderson is fit, or whether Gunter might be pushed into a midfield role, remains to be seen.

Our visitors should have Taylor-Fletcher available after he missed Monday’s game against Barnsley, however Ian Holloway will be without the suspended Keith Southern, and the injured Roman Bednar.  His other injury concern is Kevin Phillips, who’s been troubled with a hip problem (presumably at his age he’s due a replacement! Fnar!).

This game represents one of those rare opportunities for us this season – to do a double over someone!  Blackpool succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Bloomfield Road thanks to strikes from Majewski and Morgan, and their open attacking style might present us with our own opportunities rather than face an overtly defensive side that seems to have been customary.  We shall see.  Have we done the double over anyone other than Ipswich this season?

With Doncaster playing Portsmouth the day will end with one of them relegated; Coventry and Bristol City face tricky trips to Burnley and Birmingham respectively – whilst of course we must focus on our own challenge, I can’t help but think in that context it would be a most timely juncture in which to pick up a point or three.  Then we can look forward to the West-Country-fest post-match interviews between the two managers!

It’ll be a tricky game – difficult to predict too, it should be open – there should be chances, which worryingly points to the side with the most effective finishing and perhaps the most on-form ‘keeper triumphing.  We’ve not excelled at either of these things lately!  Ho hum!

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15 Responses

  1. I believe that even if Doncaster beat Pompey then they can both go down if Bristol City also win.

    As for Forest, I’ve long since given up trying to predict our results! The way this season has gone we’ll probably lose Saturday and then beat Reading away to guarantee our safety!

    • Wooton at right back ,Gunter right wing and Mcgugan keeping his place ! Should be enough to give Blackpool problems.Plenty of guile and creativity. I hope Phillips isn’t fit ………..Come on Forest !! One for the fans !!!!!! I need a drink !!

  2. I do hope we tonk them brownpoo !!!!

  3. Not sure what to think when a home game is approaching. Expect the unexpected is probably the way forward. Our Form over the last 10 games very solid so I can’t help but think a point would just about do it in terms of safety.

    A real shame to lose McCleary for the next 3 games. He really has been a shining light in an otherwise forgetful campaign. As the old saying goes though, one door closes, another one opens. In this case it’s for McGugan. It’s great to see him back. Although he has attitude deficiencies I will slays have a soft spot for him, as when he is on song, much like McCleary he is a real handful. Good luck to the lads v the tangerines. We seem to play better against the teams above us so we must be a good chance for 3 points.
    C’MON FOREST.

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

  5. Melbourne Red is correct: it’s a shame for McCleary (has he been confirmed as Player of the Season yet?) but his temporary exit should hopefully guarantee a starting berth for the shamefully isolated McGugan. Hopefully the days of our team being full of players like Tudgay, Moussi, etc will be a distant memory soon.

  6. Sorry Ian have to disagree with you regarding Tudgay who has, in a season to forget, remained one of the few members of the squad to come out of this debacle of a season with any credibility – in terms of workrate – unlike your man McGugan. Hopefully McCleary’s ban will give Lewis the kick up the arse to demonstrate his undoubted talents – should he regain his position.
    Moose has generally not done too much wrong and looks a far more comfortable player alongside Guedioura.

    • I’m sure Mcgugan realises he is in the shop window tomorrow and should play the game of his life to earn a good contract at another club. A good performance means a higher fee,so more money to tie some players down. Nice to see Guediora wants to stay !

  7. I’d rather have 100 McGugans operating at 50% than 100 Tudgays operating at 100%. Dear me. I don’t know what has happened to so many Forest fans. We pays our moneys to see the likes of McGugan turning it on, not carthorses like Tudgay, Moussi, etc. Forest fans have had similar views in the past on players such as Fatty Commons, who – bizarrely – some fans accused of not giving 100% and who – again bizarrely – was deemed sometimes by our then-manager of not being worthy of a starting berth in League One. It is players like Commons and McGugan who we pay to see, not carthores.

    • That’s certainly an interesting arguement Ian. If we could, as a team who has definitely fallen on fallow times, afford to play and buy multiple luxury players who don’t seem to be bothered most of the time then I’m sure I’d agree. But we’re a struggling TEAM who need commitment and a work ethic that flows through the entire squad. I’d much rather see a player busting a gut trying to help who’s not as gifted as a player who can clearly turn it on when he wants but choses not to do so to the detriment of the side.

      We need quality creative players to be added to the squad, lets face it in the champoship is going to be short on quality, who try. Look at the teams near the top of our league and the promoted teams from it last year. For the most part, at our level, skilled individuals alone win you zilch. A strong team ethic, everyone pulling together, a well defined system is what will drive us up. Not accomodating show-ponies, who have not invested in us.

      • Could not agree more Tim,just like Commons McGugan seems to think he is the dogs bollox,why no bids for him during the transfer window,if you get your chance take it with both hands ,dont sulk like some spoilt kid,give me 11 players who play as a team, not 11 who think they are something they are not.

  8. Ian, nothing would please me more than to see McGugan demonstrating the kind of game-changing ability he frequently showed last season. His attitude remains questionable and is probably the main reason why despite numerous rumours to the contrary, he has never been the subject of any firm interest from a higher level.

    Every team needs flair and creativity balanced with guile and a strong work ethic, with those providing the former being capable and willing to muck in with the latter as circumstances dictate – particularly considering the way that this season has panned out.

    I have seen little from McGugan this season to suggest that he is prepared to knuckle down and work for the good of the team. However, I understand that his contribution at London Road was more in line with that which we all know he is capable of and if he starts today, hopefully there will be more of the same.

    We will however have to agree to differ with regards to Tudgay. If you think he is a carthorse, you need to look at some of the goals that he has scored – particularly the lob in the home game against Palace last season. He is never going to be prolific, but works hard, holds the ball up well and has a decent technique – particularly with his head.

  9. There seems to be a real strong correlation between the most gifted players and bad attitudes. There’s something that goes on in their heads that is a different way of thinking about things. Football is littered with genius that often don’t fulfil their potential and if they do, they are such flawed characters their light only burns for short time. Best, Gascoigne and Maradona are a few of the big ones (Maradona did actually do a fair bit in the game but imagine what he could of been if his mind was in the right place). But then there is a tier below these greats that is far more densely populated. It actually seems like there is one in every team in todays game. Man City have at least 2 that have probably cost them the league this season!

    That in itself is an indictment of the modern game. The 70’s, 80’s and 90’s had their fair share of what would then be described as a football maverick. Clearly gifted players with a self destruct button. Now we have clearly gifted players who are brought up in a different system to that of the last 20-30 years, so their attitudes reflect the environment and culture of today. Which is why there are so many sulky pre madonna’s who demand a transfer when they don’t get picked. Because all the power is with the players now, many have been seduced by their parasite agent’s and told they can do and demand what they like or they’ll just slap a transfer request in.

    Honest hard working pro’s are a good thing and shouldn’t be knocked. Norwich and Swansea have done really well by keeping a great team ethic going and working for each other. Stuart Pearce was an honest hardworking pro and I would have him in my team over Gascoigne every week. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate ability and talent but ability and talent is only good when the attitude is spot on. If we’d of had a team of 11 McGugan’s this season we’d be relegated by now. He’s a good player but its pretty disgusting that when he was in the team earlier this season that he didn’t just roll his sleeves up and try harder when it wasn’t going his way. Instead he just threw his toys out. I don’t want players like that playing for Forest. Its got to be about what they can do for the team, the fans and the club not about what this can do for them. They should count their lucky stars they’re in the professional game getting paid a great wage. Its insulting to the fans to see such an ungrateful attitude not just to the club but to themselves.

    I always think that if Stan Collymore had Stuart Pearce’s work ethic and attitude towards the game then he would of been England’s best ever striker. I know there is an argument that says these players wouldn’t be the players they are without their mind set but I just look at Messi now. This is the most gifted player of his generation, (possibly of all time) whose attitude is professional and focussed on his job and look at the results. Not flashes of wild brilliance but consistent brilliance with massive returns. 60+ goals a season for christ sake! I thought that sort of scoring was the strict domain of the likes of Dixie Dean, Brian Clough, Uwe Seeler and other great names of the past.

    I wish players would just get their heads down and play rather than pissing and moaning every week when something isn’t perfect for them.

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