Tomorrow sees us take the trip up to Huddersfield to take on the Championship newcomers. Town haven’t been up at this level for more than a decade – with the kind of record in the play-offs that we can empathise with, they finally found themselves up against Sheffield United last season and overcame them to book their place in the second tier.
A tough opening day saw them put in a good account of themselves at Cardiff City – but despite a spirited approach to the game and plenty of opportunities to breach the Bluebirds (Redbirds?) goal they weren’t able to break the deadlock and ultimately surrendered a goal to the home side (which looked offside to me) to leave Wales with nothing.
Simon Grayson is at the helm now, and the former-Leeds manager probably doesn’t need any introduction to those of us that can remember his unsavoury side whilst at Elland Road. Then again, maybe that’s just what’s expected there! He’s been quick to reassemble the squad he inherited from Lee Clark including snapping up former Reds defender Joel Lynch whilst our takeover was still being awaited.
The most obvious threat from them is striker Jordan Rhodes who – thankfully for us – is recovering from an injury and unlikely to feature tomorrow. They appear to play nice football on the deck which is too early to say whether it will suit us or not – but we could find we are passing each other to death a little bit.
Much like us they seem to rely on their fullbacks to give width – so we perhaps need to be wary with our often narrow midfield getting bypassed down the flanks and exposing our fullbacks – however, we tend to operate in a similar way so that might not prove too tricky. Certainly they will be keen to get their home campaign off to a solid start.
As for us, well we showed a solid defensive performance at the weekend with perhaps work-to-do on attacking impetus (although at times we showed promise here too). It’s too early to say whether we will see a difference in home and away tactics, depending on how match-fit Cox is I’m anticipating a similar line-up to the weekend.
Cohen is likely to remain out through injury, I’m not sure what the story is with Ayala – if he were available then he’d presumably be in contention for Halford’s centre half spot, although Greg had an impressive game on Saturday, as did Moloney and Gillett who might be the players he could replace should Ayala return to the side.
Predictions seem ludicrous considering we are talking about two teams who’ve undergone quite a bit of change – but certainly the Reds should approach this game positively and hopefully will be able to depend on the backing of a good number of vocal Forest fans. I’m quite excited as it’s one of the diminishing opportunities I have to visit a new ground (easily pleased, me!).
Certainly I never recall O’Driscoll’s Doncaster side coming to the City Ground and camping out for a draw, so I’m hoping that philosophy of going for the result holds true here too. With Fawaz confirming post-match at the weekend that we are in discussion with further players to bolster the squad it’s clear that we are still a work-in-progress, but certainly we should have enough about us to pose a threat on Tuesday.
Much like the squad, us observers on on a learning curve too to see how the SO’D revolution develops – much like normal, I find myself cautiously optimistic.
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