Forest vs. Bristol City preview..

Aah, here it comes – the start of the season.  Had the ownership remained uncertain, had the managerial reins still been in a grubby mitts of Steve Cotterill, well, this would be a begrudged and pessimistic post.  With ownership secured and Sean O’Driscoll at the helm it’s going to be cautiously optimistic with a healthy smattering of what might pass for realism in my head.

City were one of the few teams to finish below us in the league last season – one place below – and much like us will be hoping for a considerable improvement this season.  Part of their rebuilding has involved recruiting former Reds – released winger Paul Anderson and loanee Greg Cunningham were snapped up by Derek McInnes in the summer.

As for Forest, well we have plenty of new players to pick from too – it would seem from the friendlies and cup games that certainly Collins and Ayala are SO’D’s centreback pairing of choice, with Harding at leftback – it’s possible today’s loan arrival Hutchinson may feature at rightback – but then so could Moloney or even Halford.

Midfield is difficult to predict – likely to include Reidy and McGugan who were influential on Monday’s trip to Fleetwood.  Guedioura is likely to be in the mix, as is Halford if he isn’t included in the defence.  Blackstock will probably play, leaving a space for either another midfielder or potentially Cox depending on how he came through his ninety minutes for the Republic of Ireland.

In fact, we have no injury concerns at all – both Cohen and Gillett have returned to training following niggles.  So this second-guessing exercise is really rather futile.  If you were looking for a reasonably comfortable opening fixture then this would look like it on paper – but that would be a slightly over-confident attitude; much like us, Bristol City will be somewhat of an unknown quantity this season.

Certainly I’m hoping fellow fans are feeling excited like me and play their part in building the atmosphere and getting behind this new era of Nottingham Forest.  I’m really looking forward to see what the manager has up his sleeve and am quietly optimistic that it might be something good – I’m not getting carried away, there’s still work to do, but I’ve been impressed with the goings on at the City Ground this summer.

The other bit of news was the home draw against Wigan as a reward for beating Fleetwood which is, well, a bit underwhelming – but a good challenge for O’Driscoll’s side to face.  Forest are offering season ticket holders the opportunity to go to the match for just £8 which isn’t bad at all really – probably to combat the fact that the game is to be televised on Sky Sports.

And of course we should make note of Sam Hutchinson arriving on loan from Chelsea – following in the footsteps of John Terry and Ryan Bertrand.  Contrary to initial reports he’s here on a season long loan – he actually retired through injury in 2010 having made inroads into the Chelsea squad, but a dramatic improvement in his knee injury saw him sign a new deal with the Londoners.

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11 Responses

  1. Amazing to think that Cohen even when fit, will have a battle for his place this season, given he has to be one of the best midfielders we had in our squad (until Schteve got the idea of playing him at left back)

    Great evidence of our progress. Would imagine moussi/Gillette/Cohen/greening are all competing for the same slot unless it is a tough game we’d be unlikely to play 2 of these in a midfield 4.

    Hard to predict the formation – I guess we have flexibility now. If we played 4-2-3-1 Guediora Cohen or Gueddy and Gilette would both be formidable. Easy to see any three of google, radi, reidy, and Cohen gracing the rotating attacking midfield 3.

    Like most fans I’d like to see cover some pacey wingers especially on the right (not sure halford is the right option – more like gunter in midfield) but we are entering the phase, especially if the asian contingent get work permits, that we are adding finishing touches to a pretty deep squad.

    If we get Darth Bader, the 8 strikers will need thinning down to 5. After which we are set. Would imagine miller will stay (we need someone in the mould of Boyd / adebola to provide some presence up front) so I’d expect Derbyshire, McGoldrick and Findley to be on their way unless something clicks for them soon.

    Most of the forum posts are keeping feet firmly on the floor, thinking a top half finish is the most we can expect in the first season – but so much about the club feels more, well, forest: The effectiveness at securing our targets, the type of player, the philosophy of the manager, the unity between manager and owner… so I can’t help being full of contentment and hope for the seasons ahead. My only plea is that the owners give O’Driscoll time, even if it takes a while. They are making all the right noises, but you never can tell. COYR

    • Great comments, but I think the real plea is that the fans give SOD and the players time ….

  2. Having looked at all the footage available on the net of our various pre season games I think the squad is moving in the right direction.It’s nice to have so many good options for squad selection and I for one am very pleased to see Chris Cohen back in the mix and being available.One of my favourite forest players and reminds me of Lars in the not to distant past.This is a fixture for us which could not really be any better as the visitors found themselves in a similar position to us at the end of last season and they will be looking for improvement so will be up to impress in much the same way as we are so should be a good curtain raiser for the rest of the season.
    As usual there is the “It’s Forest” and anything can happen but optimism prevails.2-0 with Dex and Simon Cox with a home debut goal is my prediction.
    Enjoy the occasion and look forward to your first post match assesment.

  3. I would love to see Guedioura and Cohen in the same midfield. It would be very formidable IMO. Think Cohen may still be a few weeks away though as he hasnt played at all during pre season.
    I reckon 2-1 to Forest with Blackstock and McGugan scoring and Anderson doing what he didnt do enough of for us.

  4. Looking at the revamped squad, it looks strong now and the manager has lots of midfield and striking options, although the lack of any natural wide players does stand out.

    Perhaps SOD will ‘do a Billy’ and have the pitch narrowed?!

  5. Interesting times ahead! New faces across the board. With so many new additions it will be difficult to assess players as they have only been together for such a short period.

    But alas, all signings gave been met with a positive response so let’s hope Forest can get off to a solid start.

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

  6. So, here we are at the start of the next Forest Rollercoaster ride – I’ve been a season ticket holder for 36 years and I reckon that I haven’t felt as optimistic about a season for a very long time.

    To think that the new owners have only been on board for 5 weeks and during that time have recruited a new manager and 8 ‘sound’ players, speaks volumes for their enthusiasm and support for this ‘project’.

    I hope they are at the game tomorrow to receive the plaudits they richly deserve and that the team, but most importantly, we the fans give them the welcome that they so deserve …..

  7. To whet the appetite further, check out this,
    http://footballblog.co.uk/favourite-nottingham-forest-season.html
    So good nffc could have written it himself, lets hope for a season as good as that one!

  8. […] pretty reliable, Through the Seasons Before Us previews the match against Bristol City, whose squad includes Paul Anderson and Greg Cunningham, while Seat Pitch have […]

  9. for anyone thats interested ..please check ebay as i am selling my huge original metal club shop sign / badge ..this is the original badge that was on top of the old club shop…see ebay for details and happy bidding if interested in this piece of iconic memorabillia!!!!

  10. I’m more optimistic than I have been for several years.

    All the best to the squad and manager, and owners.

    COYR!

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