Following Forest’s fifth consecutive defeat at the hands to top of the table Bristol City on another disappointing afternoon, Reiss Lane offered his thoughts on proceedings as he made his debut for Munich and Madrid.
Despite The Reds finally finding the back of the net for the first time this season, they still find themselves pointless after a 2-1 defeat in what now looks like to be the last hurrah for Sabri Lamouchi in the Forest dugout.
The team news offered furhter changes to the side from defeat to Huddersfield on the previous Friday with Lamouchi handing a debut to new signing, Nicholas Ioannou from APOEL. Hot teenage prospect, Alex Mighten came into the side for the sidelined Joe Lolley for his first full league debut. Lamouchi also brought back Lewis Grabban to captain the side in place of Lyle Taylor whilst Tyler Blackett reverted to centre back in place of the injured, Scott McKenna, for yet another different centre back partnership of the season. Forest reverted back to Lamouchi’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation for the afternoon.
Despite the defeat, Forest started the game pretty well and really should have been ahead but for a world-class save from Dan Bentley in the Bristol goal, keeping out Alex Mighten’s superb header. However, familiar signs were soon evident as just over the ten minute mark, the same problems struck again for Forest. A cross from the Forest left saw Mbe Soh stick out a leg but he could only poke the ball into Andreas Weimann’s path. The former Derby man kept us his decent record against Forest, curling the ball home, unmarked, from around 12 yards. Failing to heed the warnings from the early blow, City almost doubled their lead on the twenty-minute mark as Brice Samba made a reaction stop from an effort he knew little about. The respite didn’t last long however, as only two minutes later, another cross from Forest’s left was headed down by Chris Martin for Nakhi Wells to hammer high into the Forest net. It was far too easy for Bristol City and after a decent opening, Forest found themselves 2-0 down with only a quarter of the game gone, thanks to some schoolboy defending.
Forest did manage to get themselves a foot in the game after thirty five minutes, as Luke Freeman chased a loose ball out on the left before turning in field and hitting a 25 yard wonder-strike past the inspired Bentley. The strike got Forest off the mark in the goals scored column for the campaign but they went into the break trailing.
The second half got underway with Forest, surprisingly making no changes to the line up. Personally, I expected to see an old head and leader in Michael Dawson to come on and sure up the defence but Lamouchi opted to stick with the starting eleven in turning things around.
Forest again started fairly well as Cyrus Christie’s fizzing drive from outside the area was tipped over brillainly by Bentley again. Lewis Grabban had a diving headed chance come his way, which he will feel he should’ve done better with from a Ioannou cross. The Reds conjured some more chances; a scramble in the Bristol City box led to Jack Colback forcing another save from Bentley before Ioannou put in another wonderful cross which saw substitute Lyle Taylor denied from close range by the formidable, Bentley, who had a Man-of-the-Match performance. If there were to be any positives taken out of the game then it would of been Ioannou’s debut; his crossing had been a real positive and a regular feature of his afternoon.
The Reds pushed forward in search of their equalizer but were nearly caught out by City on the counter attack late on, as Semenyo shot wide when well placed to hit the target. Whilst Forest huffed and puffed towards the end and into stoppage time, they still couldn’t find a way through the City rearguard and past Bentley on his one made crusade. Substitute Nuno Da Costa, who struggled to get up to speed in only his second appearance, had the last effort of the game but his wayward shot was cleared away by the Robins. The victory chalked up four wins out of four for Dean Holden’s men and left Forest still pointless and sitting in the relegation places.
“Everyone has to take some time now and look at themselves in the mirror because as players we like to blame or point fingers, but ultimately we are the ones on the pitch and we have to take responsibility for that.” – Harry Arter
Unfortunately for Sabril Lamouchi, it does seem to be his last game in charge of Forest as we hit the international break. Whilst the French coach said that he ‘hopes’ to be in charge for the Blackburn game speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham, the latest defeat makes that now look unlikley.
Forest’s frailties showed once again as they had to go behind before things kicked into gear but by that time, the damage had already been done. The stats make awful reading for the former Rennes manager. Taking into account the Carabao Cup defeat to Barnsley, Forest gave no points in four games this season. It makes Forest winless in eleven games on the whole including seven back to back defeats.
Ironically, the last side that Forest did beat was Bristol City…. Football is a results business and with those statistics, Lamouchi can’t complain if he is given the boot. As much as the Frenchman hopes to stay at The City Ground, he isn’t for me, and I think it’s time to say ‘Au Revior, Sabri.’