We only had ten men..

.. and a fat lot of good it did us, a limp showing from the boys in Red led to defeat.

So yeah, I predicted one goal would settle it. Derby managed it with their sole effort on target – a half yard tap in for Bryson after good work down the right by Coutts and a decent ball into the box. There’s been a lot of ire directed at the referee, rightfully, but that shouldn’t distract from our own shortcomings.

I’m going to keep this brief as I’m on my phone, and I can’t be arsed. We weren’t at the races, a tame effort from Cohen and a last gap Gillett effort (which Fielding did well to save) were our only efforts on target. We didn’t create enough, and as seems to have become characteristic of this fixture, the visitors seemed to arrive with a more effective game plan and wanted it more.

Blackstock shouldn’t have been red carded for a fairly innocuous looking challenge, and quite how Buxton and Keogh consistently got away with GBH on him throughout the first half is something only the referee can answer. For me though our lack of threat was a result of our own lack of application, the referee – albeit atrocious – was a mere side story, one that ought to be followed up by the powers-that-be of course, but not one to distract us from how we need to improve.

Fielding had looked suspect on crosses – we didn’t subsequently put more crosses in, partly down to that perpetual problem with lack of wingers so there’s little chance to get the ball wide then in the box. Derby were largely industrial in their approach, but it was effective at stifling our game and once the referee handed them a one man advantage they took the chance they made.

That’s a few games of ineffectiveness now for the Reds – our early season ‘clicking’ perhaps took our opponents by surprise as much as it did many of us. Now it seems teams are finding it relatively easy to limit our Plan A, as yet we’ve not seemed to create a Plan B that looks like it could cause teams too many problems.

We might see an alternate approach on Wednesday – Blackstock is suspended, I’m assuming if we appeal the Football League will as ever ignore whatever evidence is submitted and stick by their incompetent official. Simon Cox is out too, after being booked for – get this – standing a bit near Fielding (who was time wasting). Coxy has picked up a LOT of bookings in his short time here though, it has to be said.

A very disappointing afternoon. It’s always a shit fixture to lose, and there’s usually always some handbags or cries of injustice but the most annoying thing is that we didn’t do more to control the game. Gillett had a decent game, and it was nice to see Cohen back, but well, there’s a whole lot of cloud and not much silver lining from where I’m standing.

Blackburn aren’t going to be pushovers in Wednesday either. I hope fans and owners alike aren’t going to start getting silly with regard to Sean O’Driscoll – patience is needed by all concerned as he works with the squad to get our results back on track.

36 Responses

  1. Spot on as ever nffc, and yes important we don’t panic as these are very early days in the O’Driscoll era. Doesn’t happen enough in these days of mon£y football that managers get a chance.

  2. Spot on comments. A shit Ref is no excuse for our lack of guile and attitude. Non league Nigel set Derby up to kick us off the park emulating his Father’s arch rival Revie and I despise him for that but at least he whipped his team up. No panic yet and I echo the need for patience but I am losing it with Reidy’s loose passes – his failure to track Coutts today contributed to the goal. I also found the actions of as some so called forest fans appalling, no excuses for throwing objects or sick chants however bad the Ref may have been. Wednesday will be a pivotal game in my opinion.

  3. My first live game of the season, and what a games to choose! Gah. Looking at the performance in isolation compared to some of the shit I saw last season, it was a marked improvement, we have to remember the strides that we have made. As for the general moaning on D*rby time wasting and playing a bit dirty, well we were just as guilty under Billy, so I think that a bit rich in fairness.

    As for the good: Gillett was busy, Cohen as ever covered everything on the right, the defence was, for the most part, solid. A good Lansbury crunch with his first touch.

    The bad: The referee was fairly average, booking both Cox and Lansbury for standing by the keeper?! and his failure to deal with the man-handling of Dex lead to his sending off. To be honest Dex was already very lucky not to have been on a booking given a body slam in the first half. A lack of a plan B…… a cliché, but the urgency lacked up until injury time and we did start to test them then. Changes should have been made far, far earlier in the 2nd half with lewis looking a bit uninterested and Reid not having his best game.

    As a general observation there wasn’t, for the most part, a good link between the defensive 5 and our offensive midfielders. It was all very well grumbling at the passing across the back and up to Gillett, but there was often little in the way of an available offload. A good pressing performance by Derby perhaps, not helped by a man less.


  4. Correct, shocking as the ref was, Forest needed to man up and not get so wound up by poor decisions and Derby’s primitive game plan. Felt they lost their composure. For once, SO’D’s subs didn’t really have the desired effect. Hopefully, he will get them back on the training ground and steady the ship a bit.

  5. The things is, teams like derby exist, as a club we have to grasp the fact that no every club will play the way we expect them to. It’s a learning curve for these new set of players, simple as that. As for derby, what options did they have bar attempt to kick the shite out of the opposition? teams like derby’s come and go, Forest need to grow up. Be adaptable, and ever sink to these non league tactics, Nigel can take credit for 3 points for sure, but as his dad said….you never won fairly did you?

  6. Neither side deserved anything from that match. It’s worrying that we seem to be creating so little in some games, and that we’ve gone so long-ball at the same time. I think you’re right about the lack of width – we bought a lot of players but not many quick ones. We’ll come good again though, and we’ll finish higher than that lot, but it’s been a painful day.

    Plus point: great to see Cohen back. And he had a decent game too.

  7. Nightmare day today! Very disappointed that despite not ever really getting going today the players didn’t seem to show the fight or quite the same desire to chase their players down.

    I was happy to see Cohen play a full 90 minutes again and I admire his endeavour BUT the further he got pushed forward I just found myself thinking that surely we had better options for getting the ball forward. He’s not really attacking minded but we seemed to continuously try to get the ball to him to no real avail.

    What surprised me today is how spread out the team was. It looked purposeful from our point of view that they’d been told to stretch the game but after a first half like that we didn’t really do anything to change it in the second half. So many loose balls went begging because players weren’t close enough to make a challenge or go for them.

    Maybe its just sour grapes but why is it so many teams can end up playing better when they go down to 10 men but we can’t?? Given it was a striker red carded in theory we should still be able to collectively compete up until the final third where naturally you then see a man short.

    Did anyone notice Cox gesturing towards the Forest bench when they were encouraging him to get back for a corner in the 2nd half, it seemed to me he was pointing out that as soon as the ball goes out they’ll be nobody up front if he’s dropped back! I used to hate this tactic ever since it seemed to be introduced by Calderwood and every manager we’ve had since.

    The Ref… good grief!! Booking Cox and Lansbury for standing near to their keeper with their arms out essentially making him aware that they weren’t preventing the keeper playing on and that indeed he was time wasting. There were even a few cheers in the Trent End at first thinking that the ref was running over to book their keeper only to book Cox!!!

    Heard on Radio Nottm that this ref only has had like 16 games in the championship!! WTF were they thinking then giving him a Forest Derby game!!!! IDIOTS!!!

    There is a long way to go but I really hope we begin to rekindle some of the form we showed before the international break.

    With the players we’ve got (on paper) its gonna come good eventually.

    A home win on Wednesday is much needed… given last Monday’s MatchTalk programme on Radio Nottm was using the 1 win in 7 issue to open the show I fear for those who’ll take the bait and ring in saying its only 1 win in 8 and its all doom and gloom!!

    Keep the faith… come on Forest… lets get back on it for Wednesday and show our quality.


  8. Never mind tika-taka…. From what i’ve seen so far this season, we re the new Stoke. Dear me.

  9. As a Rams fan, delighted with the win but I was disappointed with the game overall and Nigels tactics, believe me we have knocked it about quite well this season.. I can’t let the GBH comments go as, the worst two tackles were from Cox (drop ball given!) and Cohen, both could have seen straight reds in the first half. Even Rams hating Billy Davies thought Cox should have gone. So lick your wounds, have a good season but a few points behind us ! PS remember how you profited from Ref Atwells performance at ours a few years back. ( I wonder why the powers that be use this fixture for ‘blooding ‘ promising Refs? It tto important for that!)

    • From my memory Attwell sent off McGugan for no apparent reason…

      But yeah, we could have used a better referee really. Heard from a few Rams fans you’d been playing better football this season, wasn’t much on show today.

      Nor from us, in fairness.

  10. Well said Nffc.
    I thought we had a plethora of front men to choose from a little while ago…

    Now we have one to choose from V Blackburn in Billy Sharp ( hope he doesn’t start picking up multiple bookings ).
    Is Marcus Tudgay still around??
    aaaaahh what a shit couple of weeks at Forest.
    Early season promise has evaporated.

  11. Good reports and comments I agree with rams fan comments coxy should have gone . We lacked passion today and first half at Leeds it’s not good enough we looked clueless the system SOD wants is not working for me we need wingers where are they ?

    2 players sent off in 10 days that tells me a story the team Look frustrated to me and disjointed its not a good sign .If we lose another couple of games SOD will be under major pressure it’s never easy with us is it always a friggin epic ………………

    I’m gonna stick my neck out I think it’s gonna be a long hard season
    again I’m not convinced by the system SOD wants …………

  12. 4-4-2 isn’t working, and wth the number of midfielders we have and with Dex now suspended it may be a good time to switch to a 4-5-1 to give us a bit more in midfield and a bit more width. Good point on the ‘blooding’ of referees maybe the FA see this fixture as the opportunity to do just that. We need to give O’Driscoll a chance though and remember he and these players havent had that long together. I’m off to P’boro next week so hopefully we’ll see an improvemnt then and on Wednesday. I thought we did ok 1st half yesterday there was nothing wrong with the commitment of the players, the sending off killed us.

  13. I wonder if Fawaz has ‘had a word’ with SO’D yet? ‘Vote of confidence’ time?

  14. So little nigel continues to have the sign over us? His game plan is simple kick seven bells of shit out of anything in a red shirt and hope the players(his) don’t get booked. Let the opposition get frustratted and land all the bookings and any reds that he wants to make! it worked to a tee!!! As someone said Forest need to man up yet we have the worst disciplinary record in the division? It took us 30 minutes after the sending off to clear our heads!!!!

    We weren’t smart at all were we? Specifics mester SOD you can’t build a midfield around Lewis he isn’t good enough and in games like yesterday goes missing. Has Reidy too much influence in the dressing room he shouldn’t be in the centre of midfield, yet another ball given away leading to a goal. Not enough craft in midfield and no width again. Reidy play out wide for fekks sake.

    SOD needs to improve our disciplinary record we need to get tougher and cooler. Teams aren’t going to lie down and let us play football we have to expect getting roughed up. Does anyone think Blackburn wont play hard?

    Early days let not get too down. Congratulations to direby you are ther new leeds! you had a plan and it worked well you even managed to bring your own ref!.

  15. I thought we were far too slow in midfield tin he first half and it seemed that a lot of balls were hit up to Dex for him to bring down and lay off. Unfortunately, no midfielders running though to take advantage of this. Reid, McGuigan, etc are not quick enough to be box to box players and subsequently it generally did not work.

    To repeat what many other posters have said; the midfield is not quick enough and no width. Perhaps Reid’s best days are behind him and there won’t be an Indian summer for him, as we all hoped, even though he is doing his best and has looked in better shape than he has ever been……

    I fear that although a lot of us have said we’d be happy with mid-table then move forward next season, I now believe that, not unreasonably, our hopes have been somewhat raised by the quality of players we’ve brought in and that SOD might not get the patience he’d hoped for from some fans if things don’t take a turn for the better in the coming weeks.

  16. You reds make me smile….you call Derby for spoiling the game yet were was all the passing football you guys supposedly play?? You were more like Stoke, long throw-ins and 70 yard punts up field! As for the Blackstock sending off, it could have gone either way, but you all seem to have also overlooked the over the top challenge by Cox on Brayford which could have been a red, instead the ref gave a drop ball – so to say he was against you guys is in accurate – for what it’s worth the ref was just a usual modern day ref – useless!

  17. Hi excellent report as usual but I think the team are being given a bit of unfair stick. I know we showed a lack of attacking flair in the first half but to be fair the brutal approach of Derby shocked me let alone the players and the referees leniency to Derby at least did nothing to help what was a stop start first half. In previous games the manager has been very astute and able to change things at half time to improve matters and has brought its rewards at least by way of goals if not always results. The fact that any half time change in tactics to overcome Derby’s approach ended so quickly with the sending off of Dexter didn’t really give us the opportunity to see how things might have changed. To limit Derby to their one chance was a very good effort and on another day we might just have nicked an equiliser despite the 1 man disadvantage. I know we might lack a little pace and width but given time we will improve and overcome any shortcomings. Lets face it i don’t think we’ve had much luck this season, every mistake has been punished and we’ve certainly not had the rub of the green with the referees. Whether the sending off was right or wrong the one thing that is obvious to me is that if Dexter had deliberately elbowed the player then he would have been surrounded by the other 10 Derby players and the bench would have been on the pitch. The fact that only the referee saw anything wrong with the challenge says it all. Keep the faith. Chris Sheffield Red for over 40 years.

  18. buckta silly

    We had to play in the clouds because if we tried to play on the floor anything in Red was scythed down! The real Clough must be turning in his grave at the thought of direby the new leeds and his son the new reviie????

    love and kisses


    • REG: And about the Simon Cox incident – oh yeah, can only see one side as usual…most of you live in cloud cuckoo land! As I play most of my football in Nottingham, of the friends I have there, they are far more balanced in their reflection on the game. It could of gone either way, no quality from either side apart from the goal. If players like Blackstock can fall over at the slightest of touches then maybe they are in the wrong sport – if someone did that in our team they would be ridiculed by our own players let alone the opposition….

      • I’d hate to play in your league if you think some of those “challenges” on Blackstock were slight!!

        • Arsene Wenger now are we reg??? :0)

          As for the league I play in Will it’s the NSL… My point I was trying to make is that modern football has become almost a non- contact sport – I don’t know your age but I’m late 30’s so I’ve seen a lot worse than what blackstock had to put up with….and none of it punished by referees. It maybe that you are much younger??? IMHO

          • No, I’m late thirties too and I agree football isn’t what it used to be. I remember Pearce kicking poor Ted McMinn several feet in the air by the Main Stand in the late eighties! I just feel that Derby targetted Blackstock and to be fair, it worked as he lost his cool and made himself a target for the ref. It is nothing new. Teams will always try and stop supposedly superior teams playing by employing this tactic. I think I’ll

            • I think I’d go in goal if we ever played you in the NSL just to be on the safe side.

            • At least you have put a smile on my face Will…….and yes, I was there at the BBG when Pearce was marauding down the left (and kicking McMinn up in the air…..) and yes I used to moan like hell!! Out of interest, has Blackstock often been targeted this way??

            • Yes, he gets a bit of a battering most games but usually keeps his cool. Think he did himself no favours by constantly arguing with an inexperienced ref.Probably influenced the red card imo. He needed more support from our midfield and maybe things may have turned out differently.

              I used to pity Ted McMinn. Bro was a regular at the BBG in those days and used to rave about him. Remember some good performances on the old Big Match on Sundays. Always got short shrift from Pearce though. Is he still on Radio Derby?

              Miss the old BBG. Used to get gobbed on from the upper Osmaston End,couldn’t see a massive amount through that perimeter fence and the Ramstop used to be a nightmare after the game with what seemed like thousands of Reds fans squeezed into that tiny yard, (still better than taking a chance on the streets back to main station!). Was a great atmosphere, though, eapecially if a night match.

            • Not heard from McMinn in a while…….went to his testomonial against Rangers which was an experience. As for the BBG I miss the atmosphere but not the area it was in…. I remember taking a mate of mine (Forest fan) into the columbo end (the last place I should have taken him) – we won that day 2-1, Dean Saunders with the winner – I was just more relived to get him out without any hassle….anyway too much looking back – though they were the days when both sides could attract much bigger names than today’s offerings. Without sounding like a creep – I know whose squad I would rather have right now and it isn’t my own teams – I reckon most of your bench would get into our side – patience is needed and that includes from the owners as well as the fans. I was there years ago when Derby seemed to spend a £1m every other week on a big name – it got us knowhere……money doesn’t mean instant success – it takes time….

            • Too right, got to judge new acquisitions carefully. The squad can easily become unbalanced. The spending at Derby set them back years and probably explains the now cautious approach of the US owners. A bit like he Platt era at Forest.
              There are some decent players in the squad at Forest. It’ll take time to mould them into an effective team given the lack of a pre season. Time is often something managers can’t buy, though. I really like O’Driscoll and feel he could do a really good job at the CG if he is backed and given the same kind of time Clough has at Derby.

  19. Billy

    Ha Ha I didn’t say anything about the Cox tackle which I didn’t see and havent seen yet.I never claimed to be balanced!!! I look at the world thru Red Specs.

    But if I agree with you footballers do down to easliy but yesterday I dont think that accusation could be throw at Dex. As for the sending off listen to keogh’s interview after the match.

    But hay you won and I’m a sore loser and thats the first time you’ve won three on the bounce since 1776. All down to tactics straight out of Bunker Hill!


  20. Thought that although D***y were clearly “at it” from the start, we were gaining more possession as the half wore on – albeit without generating much in front of goal.

    Cohen was lively but both Reid and McGugan disappointing. Dex certainly had the measure of their defenders, several of whom could have walked before the break.

    Ultimately it seemed they wanted it more and scored from an opportunity they should never have had, without being given a free reign to stroll down our left flank.

    Aside from this result, for me there are wider concerns to be addressed:
    1. Inability to create goal-scoring chances.
    2. Inability to keep a clean sheet.
    3. Disciplinary record (admittedly not helped by the goon in the middle yesterday).

    Clearly we were lulled into some false expectations after those first few games – hopefully fans and owners alike can now maintain a sense of perspective.

  21. ….just thought the atmosphere was terriffic ! ref shite …and o driscoll …just standing there ..hands in pockets !! blimey !! thought mcgugan worked well ….but for me mr o driscoll ..you made the same mistake against charlton , palace , birmingham and direby ….midfield much much too deep ….giving too much away and space to the opposition …we get closed down too easy ….i think back to basics would work …give the midfield general a chance to space up ….ffs !

  22. Never easy playing against 12 men when we have be reduced to 10, sadly though seems to me hoof it and hope tactic showed its face again. Would also like to give a mention to the 5 grown men picking on a group of four 15,16 year old Derby fans from Bridgford you must be so proud of yourselfs kicking them and flicking fag ends… grow up!

    • They sound like proper heroes! Fortunately, the vast majority of us arent like that. There were quite a few throwing their handbags around outside that hole called Amicis too…

  23. Are Forest ‘the new Stoke’? A poor disciplinary record, our main threat from long throws? What does Fawaz think? #keepcamelandcarryon (etc)

    • It is a worry. Need to stop back batting the ref so much, even poor refs like Sundays. Maybe a return to the old letters with fines in that Cloughie used to leave on dressing room pegs might help focus minds?

  24. Will – I agree with that. Or a good clip round the ear for anyone getting a yellow/red card! Nowt wrong w/ that!

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