The Trip Up North – Match Preview


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Tomorrow the Reds take on Sheffield United away and its never a dull affair between the two teams. Forest will go into the game on the back of an impressive run, having gone six games unbeaten following the 0-0 draw at home to Derby last weekend. The home side should also be in a positive mood for the game after beating Burton Albion 2-0 at home and putting 3 past Reading at the Madejski last week.

Previous Meetings

Earlier this season Forest came away with a 2-1 win at the City ground and will look to do the double for the season. The Blades had climbed to second after a run of six wins from seven Championship games and led inside three minutes through John Lundstram’s shot. Jason Cummings fired Forest level and Dowell made it 2-1 before the break to seal a win for the Reds.

Players to keep an eye on

For the Red’s, I’m going for Lee Tomlin, the midfielder had a decent game against the Rams but they didn’t allow him the space he needed to make something happen, if he is allowed space tomorrow he can provide that breakthrough pass and even pop up for the goals himself.

For The Blades im going to have to go for Billy Sharpe, why? well because the blades front man knows where the back of the net is, he has been influential in United’s season and have popped up when needed to collect a vital goal or two. Plus its a player against one of his old clubs he’s bound to be trying hard to put one away.

Team News

Aitor Karanka has stated that there wont be many changes to his side for the trip to Sheffield tomorrow but has, at the same time, also stated that he will start to give a few players an opportunity to impress after the international break. Forest again will be without Chris Cohen, David Vaughan,Ashkan Dejagah and Jack Hobbs, with the latter being in U23’s action this week.

The Blades could be without top scorer Leon Clarke with the manager hoping he can make a return this week, but has stated this is more likely to be after the international break.


A match between these two sides is never a boring affair and its likely to be lively from the get go. unfortunately I think the reds strikers will let us down tomorrow and im going for a Home win! (hard to write that) Fingers crossed im wrong eh!




Defences Come Out On Top


Firstly I’d like to appreciate the great work that the staff did down at forest to put on such a decent display before the game, Red and White banners were held aloft to spell out the letters NFFC sandwiched either side of a portrait of Guiseppi Garibaldi.

Match Report:

So Nil Nil, this is the first stalemate in an East Midlands derby since 2002 and was a game won by both teams defences being in good form.

The game was generally open and I’m sure that both sets of fans were nervy throughout as I think either teams could have nicked a goal and win it.

We came out of the blocks quick and applied pressure high up the pitch to try to stop Derby playing the style of football that they wanted. Although Forest weren’t able to keep up that energy throughout and allowed derby to settle and apply their own spell of pressure just before the break. We could have been 1-0 down at half time if it wasn’t for two great saves from Pantilimon to deny both Tom Lawrence and David Nugent.

After the break forest came out fast again and pushed Derby as they did in the first half, although the game was end to end there was to many talking points as far as shots on target or clear-cut chances. Ben Brereton did get in behind the Rams defence but showed signs of a striker that isn’t confident in his ability at the moment and decided to take the square pass on instead of hitting the trigger.

Both teams were left frustrated that the goal never came but again this was just down to the sides defences, Forest’s back 4 were solid from the get go, and the defensive pairing of Fox and Figueiredo get another clean sheet on record. In the last post I said id have liked to have seen a “real” defender in at LB and not Osborn but i have to hold my hands up and say I was wrong, anyone that knows me knows how hard that would have been. Osborn has made LB his own! and yes he probably does prefer a midfield spot but he’s got that energy and commitment that makes him quite a decent LB in my opinion. Then there’s Darikwa, he got up and down that right hand side as he has done in recent weeks and again has shown why its difficult for Lichaj to get his place back in that position. Derby’s Defence was equally as good as good and Berereton seemed to struggle against the centre pairing who just gave him a little nudge in the back every time he tried to hold the ball up. Wisdom and Anya provided some wing support but nothing to spectacular and they were easily dealt with by the Forest wide men.

I’m going to start adding the new feature in the shape of players ratings. I’ve seen it done on other website and think it will be pretty good to start adding it in as a little conclusion to the game and players. This will save you a little bit of time if you are in a rush and just want to know how the players got on.

Player Ratings:

Costel Pantilimon: Made a double-save in the first half to deny David Nugent and Tom Lawrence. Was dominant and decisive in his area throughout and was seen on numberous occasions telling his defence what he wanted from them. Rating: 8/10.

Tendayi Darikwa: Got up and down that right hand side and got stuck in when needed. even got a ball thrown at him by the derby fans. Given the boss even more of a headache over Lichaj. Rating: 8/10

Tobias Figueiredo: Calm and composed throughout, obviously felt no pressure of his first derby in a red shirt. I for one am glad he has an option to buy in his loan contract. Rating: 8/10

Danny Fox: Made several important blocks, won headers and generally just threw himself about for the cause. Centre back must now be considered his best position. Rating 8/10

Ben Osborn: Did a decent job at left back. He might prefer to play in midfield, but he has made the position his own in the side in recent weeks. Rating 8/10

Ben Watson: Such a Leader and provides even more cover in front of that solid-looking back 4. He Gets back well and Has a knack of stealing the ball away from an opponent when it looks as though they drifted past him. Rating 8/10

Jack Colback: Neat and tidy player throughout. I don’t think I saw him put a pass astray or give the ball away unnecessarily. Rating 7/10.

Matty Cash: energetic, committed and direct. Enough said. Rating 8/10

Lee Tomlin: Bought down numerous times and wasn’t given the protection needed from the referee. he got up and got on with it quickly. When he did get on the ball he did look like he could do something with it but Derby didn’t allow him any time to and made him rush his passes in some instances.Rating 8/10

Joe Lolley: Was energetic and lively. If he had a few more chances to run at the defence he might have made something happen because when he did he looks a massive threat. great pace and great feet on the ball. He also covered his defensive duty very well. Rating 7/10

Ben Brereton: Another player who did not get a lot of protection, with Derby defenders giving him a quick shove as he tried to hold the ball up. He did have a chance when he got before the back 4 but made the wrong decision to pass (which was easily cut out)- still has a bit to learn. Rating 6/10


Kieran Dowell (Lolley 78): Did not have much time to make an impact and didn’t really see much of the ball when he came off the bench Rating 6/10

Daryl Murphy (Brereton 85): Added some strength to the front line and in my opinion should have started the game. Had few opportunities to change the course of the game Rating 6/10

Not used: Kapino, Mancienne, Bridcutt, Vellios, Worrall.

So Forest are away to Sheffield United Next so ill provide some stats and another prediction when we get closer to it.






A Mist Rolling In From the Trent


Its Match day at the City Ground!

Live on Sky Sports and Kick off at 2:30pm.

So the pre-match nerves are now fully sinking in and the optimism starts to build as you frantically google what time the local Spoons opens, get the Mrs to put the bacon on and iron your Stone Island Jumper…….

Will we turn up today? Will we have something to cheer about? A few months ago I would have said no! I was actually considering not even turning up. (Ha, don’t be silly of course I was going to turn up! Its Derby at home!)

I went to Derby away earlier in the season and was not pleased with what i saw. It was like a library in the away end and I couldn’t see any desire in the team. All in all an unpleasant experience. To be honest its about time we had our day for a change!

Since that massive transfer window we had in January, that kept all us forest fans sitting up all night to see whether Michael Dawson was going to make his return to Trentside (no… just me then), there is more belief in the squad and they actually look like they can give some teams a good beating. Is this down to the competition for places? or just the fact that if they don’t want to play for the club, Aitor will have them out the front door!

So as i sit here in the famous Red, listening to Sky Sports News talking about Derby this and Derby that with no mention of Forest and refreshing my social media feed to see if any team news has been released. I actually feel quite good. I just hope they put up the fighting attitude that they have the last few weeks.

I’ve seen a lot of news leading up to today about injuries to the Derby squad and that they aren’t in form blah blah, this is a derby game and probably one of the biggest rivalries in English football, form can pretty much be thrown out the window. You can’t help but think that forest have got to be in the better frame of mind going into this today though.

It seems all to familiar seeing Derby stride towards promotion and then hit their traditional wobble at this point of the season with the wheels slightly falling off! We will look at knocking the wheels off just a little bit more this afternoon and put a dent in their run up for the play offs.

So Injuries and form concerns for Derby County, they will be without Joe Ledley and George Thorne who both face 4 weeks out on the sideline. The Rams could also be without Tom Huddlestone,David Nugent and Cameron Jerome for the game today.

We have seen it all before where managers say they have a slight pull and what not and they end up in the starting 11, so i wont believe anything until the team sheets are released later on today.

Over the last few years when we’ve played Derby, I’ve always come away saying the same thing “The Derby players actually hate us!” they actually WANT to beat us and send us home in a bad mood. That’s one thing we’ve lacked, hatred. You want to see the odd foot getting left in a tackle and players pushing each other around. Every time we’ve taken the game to Derby and got stuck in they haven’t liked it and they start to get a little angry and that’s what you want from them, you want them to lose their heads! Its a East Midlands Derby!

I say get stuck in…….. I’ve just had a quick look at who the Referee is going to be today. Jeremy Simpson will take charge and the lancashire official has dished out 137 bookings in 33 games so far this season, along with five red cards. He isn’t really the man you want when two rival teams are playing each other. You want a ref that’s going to let the odd tackle go and understand that it is an derby game and things are going to get a little heated. As long as the situations don’t get out of hand just let it go. Its really annoying when you cant even throw in a tackle nowadays, I think some officials have started to believe that football is a non contact sport.

So today I think we’ll line up the same way we did at Birmingham with the 4-5-1 Formation and Lee Tomlin slotting back in the midfield after missing the game at Norwich on Tuesday Night.

I don’t know why but I also have a funny feeling that Lichaj might line up at LB replacing Osborn. Why, i hear you ask? Well…. Ben Osborn has done well the last few weeks in the LB position but cut the story short he isn’t a defender and he has the legs to run about if we need him in the midfield later on in the game. so bringing Ben on in the 60-70th minute will give us that energy again in the centre when the game starts to slow down. We’ll see wont we, i might just be talking nonsense.

Now for Brereton, will he start? I’m not sure this time round, I think I’d probably go with Murphy or Vellios up top for the physicality of it all, Ben sometimes loses some of the battles he should be winning. Murphy and Vellios have that little bit more strength to hold of defenders and bring them midfielders into play. So yeah Id probably start one of those two today.

Below I’ve put my starting 11 Vs what I think the actually 11 might be today. Again I’ve started with Murphy up top just to give that little bit of extra strength and help bring the midfield in to play. I’ve also gone with Lichaj at LB just for the reasons I stated earlier.


share_res_1597765281037390b5074678c372a10f (1)Source-Nottingham Post

So my prediction for today is going to be another draw – I’m going for a 1-1.

I’d like to think we’re going to steal a win out of them. Especially after the dodgy social media video they’ve released on twitter this week, if you haven’t seen them go have a look, it will probably brighten up your morning. ” The rams are coming” Behave!

Again let me know what you guys think I’m just talking nonsense or not or just shoot me a like or something. You can also follow me on Twitter by clicking here, And keep up to date with new blog posts.

Ill try and update this as we go along but phone signal will be permitting.






Where’s Lee Tomlin?


So… Called it! The reds took a 0-0 draw at Norwich last night, which takes us onto a 5th unbeaten game run. I think you’ll all agree with me that last night was a bore with not really much to jump around at, but on another note you can take some positives from it. If you’d have said we’d take a point away at Norwich before the game id have taken it. You have to remember that we haven’t won away at Carrow Road for a decade.

We had the better chances with Brereton having a 1 on 1 with the keeper but sent the ball just over the cross bar, he had another chance later on but couldn’t keep the ball down from close range. The players dug deep in the physical battles which we have lacked in the previous seasons and even the start of this season. You can see from last night that Karanka has put his stamp on the side and started to get them playing to his style of play. A lot of the Middlesbrough faithful posted on various social media sites on what we can expect from Aitor and last nights performance was exactly the performance I was prepared for.

A point away in the championship is what teams aim for and this became a problem when the Bread Man was here. We worked on a Win Lose system, which was fine until it started to turn into a Lose Lose system.

Last night we are well organised and solid! Its these solid foundations that forest have lacked for years, the basics if you will. Karanka has built a solid spine for the team and they play with a determination I’m sure all Forest fans have wanted to see for years. You don’t mind if your team lose the odd match here and there if they put their hearts on the line for the team and put a shift in! There’s been many a time over the last couple of seasons where no one on the pitch has looked like they wanted to be there, but something about this team now feels a little different.

So this brings me on to last nights squad, there was one change from the squad that started against Birmingham, Lee Tomlin was replaced by Kieran Dowell. I’m sure everyone had the same reaction as I did when I saw the team sheet come out ” Where the F*** is Lee Tomlin” Injured, rested, 24 Hour Greggs in Norwich?

Lee Tomlin has been a massive influence in the centre of the park since his deadline day arrival from Cardiff, and you can see the gap left without him in the squad. Kieran Dowell is a good player but Lee Tomlin just brings you a little bit of excitement and gets things happening in the middle of the park.

First thing I did this morning was get on Google to see whether he was injured or not and was met with “He’s not properly injured” which was music to my ears! He has a slight pull in his calf and is tired. I’m hoping this is some crazy mind game from Karanka, so he can play the master stroke of putting him back in the heart of that midfield on Sunday. Tomlin has put it really good performances since arriving at the City Ground and if he wants a rest I’d quite happily carry him to bed and fetch him a McDonalds brekkie the next day!

With Tomlin absent it saw Bridcutt take a place on the subs bench, which was good to see, like i said in my last blog Bridcutt hasn’t really done a lot wrong and was a strong fan favourite before the transfer window saw him drop to 4th choice midfielder. Colback put another shift in last night and gets himself stuck in and If forest sign him I’ll go and fetch his things from Newcastle myself and laugh at them on the way out! Newcastle fans had slated him and laughed at us from taking him on! well were the ones laughing now! He’s been a great addition to the squad! So yeah Cheers Rafa!

Mance and Worrall took a place on the subs bench again might have to wait to get into the squad for a little while as the defensive partnership of Fox and Figueiredo ( I have to google how to spell his name every time) is strong! Fox put in another superb performance last night and I keep forgetting that Figueiredo is only 24! He looks like he’s been a championship defender for years! His positional play is spot on and on the odd time he does get caught out he has a bit of pace to get back and sort it out. Great bit of business!

Thanks for having a read guys i was going to go into talking about D**** but I’m going to be trying out my first match day blog on Sunday! So ill hopefully see you guys back then.




Forest In Good Form For The Trip To Norwich



So the reds take on Norwich away tonight and with the win earlier in the season we will be looking to do the double over Norwich tonight and string together another win and to be honest i do fancy us with this good run of form were in! But without a win at Carrow road since December 2008 its going to be a tough one. Norwich are a strong side and with the likes of Pinto and Klosse back in the side Norwich are now pretty much back to full strength.

So they question on everyone’s mind is will Aitor start the same 11 at Carrow road that he did at the City ground on Saturday against Birmingham. Ben Brereton was subbed at half time and replaced with Daryl Murphy. will this mean that Daryl will get the nod to lead the line against Norwich tonight.

I mean they both bring different strengths to the squad, you go with Ben who will bring the ball down and isnt afraid to run at the heart of that back line, where as Daryl has the strength and experience to be able to bring all the midfielders into place, which lets be honest are the ones that are bagging the goals for us!

For me Ben just edges the start with the energy and the running his does compared to Daryl.

Lichaj is also back after his 3 match suspension, but i think hes going to find it hard to just slip back into his place in the starting 11, especially with Tendayi Darikwa improving week by week. Lichaj for me however is a player that will give you 100% week in week out and will put his life on the line if needs be and I’m sure if he doesn’t start tonight it wont be long until he finds his name on the team sheet in the upcoming weeks.

Danny Fox and Tobias Figueiredo’s relationship in the heart of that back four has gone from strength to strength and i can see the pair keeping Worrall and Mance out of the starting line up again tonight. Danny Fox does worry me at left back but it seems like hes a little more at home in the centre and looks a solid centre half! I know hes played there before and to be honest he has impressed me in certain performances but again hes been shambolic in others. Jack Hobbs also returned to playing football on monday night with the U23s (who won) future looks bright!

Liam Bridcutt  found himself out the squad the last few weeks and in my opinion he hasn’t done much wrong, but the likes of Watson and Colback have been in such good form that you cant blame Aitor for making the decision he has. Colback has a little more about him than Bridcutt and Watson is just a pure leader who has been my first name on the team sheet since hes arrived, i like that you can hear him barking orders from the back and keeping the players going with the odd ” come on lads keep it up!”

Id hope that Matty Cash has impressed enough over the last few months to warrant a place in that starting 11! for me Matty has been the most energetic player we’ve had for a good couple of months. the lad runs and runs until hes pretty much holding himself up at the end of the match. Now he’s adding goals to his game and not playing RWB for the bread man he looks to be living up to his potential! Lee Tomlin (REIDY!) and Joe Lolley will likely start tonight, with them putting in really good performances since being here, Which means Keiran Dowell will have to take his place on the Subs bench. Dowell was a good player and his goals during the start of the season have helped us get to where we are, but the last month or so it seems hes gone off the boil a little bit and lacks a little bit of confidence. If he finds form again there will be some massive competition for them central spots in the midfield.

I’ve shared my starting 11 below going with a 4-5-1 and opting for the same 11 that started at Birmingham. Why change a winning team!

Untitled.pngSource – Nottingham Post.

I’m going to make a prediction for tonight and say well come away with a point, which is my eyes would be a good point with the amount of games played the last few week I’m sure you’ll all agree!




Kenny’s Verdict on Jason Cummings

So our Kenneth has said that Aitor Karanka must have seen the form that Jason Cummings has been in. The Scotsman has hit 6 goals in 10 appearances for Rangers including a first ever hat trick! pleased for the lad but…..

we’ve seen it all before with players scoring goals in Scotland but struggling in England. Players can go from looking like the next Kenny Dalglish to a flop when joining the English Leagues, that being the Prem or the Championship and lower. Is this down to the general level of the SPL? Maybe. There’s even been players like Kris Boyd (Remember him) who struggled to perform in the Championship but become icons in Scotland.

Given that it is a “Premier League” in Scotland, you’d expect that players there would at least be able to be successful in England’s lower divisions. Whilst there is of course plenty of examples of players who have done well when making the move south, it’s too often that players will fail to meet their expectations. Perhaps they’re being overhyped, players like Charlie Adam who are brought in as the next Steven Gerrard or Paul Scholes, it’s a ridiculous suggestion!

Managing expectations would go a long way in improving the success rate of players coming from Scotland to Premier League.

So Jason didn’t get a lot of time under the Reds this season and left just before Karanka’s first game in charge. You still have to remember that he arrived without playing any higher than the Scottish championship, but now showing he can now do the business in the SPL. I still think the Championship is still a step up in class from the SPL but maybe I’m being biased.

I for one don’t think well see Cummings play in a forest shirt again to be honest, Karanka has said he wants players that WANT to be here and play here and with Cummings being “homesick” i think rangers will be an easy move away and if we can get our money back or even a little profit out of him that could pay for the likes of Colback or even Tomlin if Colin will let him go.

So ill now take this time to reel off 8 SPL players that didn’t live up to expectation in the English league.

Yes 8 random i know but frankly that’s all i can remember and I don’t know how long I have until my manager catches me doing nothing at work….. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been caught on the internet during work hours!

Feel free to add anymore Scottish flops you can remember in the comments sections.

1.Jan Vennegoor of Hessi… etc! (Hull) – A goal machine before joining Hull from Celtic and scoring just 3 in over 30 games. Shocking. Source: Zimbio


2. Craig Gordon (Sunderland) – Highly touted. The man from Hearts seemed to always end up on the bench after any decent spell. Couldn’t even get in the team ahead of Martin Fulop. Source: Independent

Craig Gordon of Sunderland

Every photo i could find out Craig Gordon he was pointing in the way. probably towards the door he was going to get kicked out of.

3. James Mcfadden (Birmingham & Everton) – Pretty Decent player for motherwell and for his national side but could never find the consistency in the English league.


4. Aiden McGeady (Everton) – Such high expectations, but at least he has a signature skill move named after him. Source: Goal. Also on another weird note Aiden Mcgeady was actually rated more skillful than Messi in Fifa 18’s FUT standing… WHAT!!!


5. Shaun Maloney (Hull and Aston Villa) – The Scottish maestro has been hyped up before but has struggled to deliver in England. Source: Premier League


6. Anthony Stokes (Sunderland) – After scoring in 14 of 16 games for Falkirk, it looked like the man from Arsenal’s academy could be a gem, he didn’t live up to expectation scoring only 3 goals in 36 appearances for Sunderland before getting sold to Hibs in 2010. Source: ReadyToGo

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Championship - Luton Town v Sunderland - Kenilworth Road

7. Liam Miller (Manchester United) – This man was apparently so talented that Martin O’Neil wanted to build the team around him…. Its probably a good job he didnt as Liam ended up in the Australian league. He had a goal tally of 5 goals from 2011 – 2016… WOW!

8. Last but not least – Kenny Miller (D****) – Scores goals everywhere except the english league is seems, he was part of the season which goes down in history for the worst Premier league record.. EVER!

Worst team in History, Worst Team in history, worst team in history….


This has been my first blog and hopefully I can keep them coming for you, well keeps me away from doing what I’m supposed to be doing anyway…. so let me know what you think. tell ya mates and all that…. and remember Together We Are Forest!