Whilst Birmingham might not be promotion contenders in the same vein as West Brom and Leeds, Forest will be in for another tricky test at The City Ground on Saturday. Games against Birmingham are never easy for Forest and I went to St.Andrews in February to see us get well beaten, 2-0 by Gary Monk’s side. A lot of water has gone under the bridge for both clubs since. One saving grace is that we won’t have to worry about Jota who always had a blinder against us. Not the end of the world either that Che Adams has moved on. Can you imagine Fawaz turning down Stuart Pearce’s recommendation to sign him for £15k when he was at Ilkeston? If the rumours are right, I certainly can! I’d like to think we’ll chalk up our first win of the season tomorrow but if Birmingham do their homework, it could well be a frustrating afternoon. I’m optimistically going to go with a 1-0 win to Forest. Bluenose fan Jack, from Birmingham Fan TV provided me with his thoughts for the game from a Blues perspective.
How is your season shaping up following preseason? Friendlies, form, signings, etc. What are your expectations for this time out?
Following the chaotic summer we endured, with Monk getting sacked and the sales of Che Adams, Michael Morrison and Jota it appeared it was going to be another uphill struggle for Blues to get themselves in a competitive state for the start of the season. Recruitment took a while, but once it got underway the board seemed to have a set out plan for who they were bringing in. We’ve managed to capture young, hungry talent from Holland, Spain and Croatia which is something unheard of at Blues! Pre-season form was steady, but I don’t tend to look too much into it, as it’s literally players getting minutes under their belts. This season, I expect us to be at one end or the other, due to the changes of personnel and style the club are going for. Don’t ask me what position it’ll be, because I honestly couldn’t tell you.
What was your performance like in your previous game?
Before the game I expected us to be given a real good pasting, especially when I saw how Bristol City were lining up. But, Blues have a tendency to surprise us at any given opportunity – both good and bad. We showed real bright glimpses throughout the 90 minutes, playing some fantastic football which is encouraging to see. However, we’ve been here before, so I won’t be counting my chickens too early.
What are the key strengths and weaknesses of your team? Who do forest fans need to be worried about the most?
Our strengths are definitely in the middle of the park, which is a huge contrast to last season when it was considered our weakest part of the squad. We’ve brought in Dan Crowley, Fran Villabla and Ivan Sunjic to bolster our options and whilst the latter seems to be more of a deep lying midfielder whose job is to protect the backline and keep things ticking over, the first 2 are definitely our creative sparks and could be a huge threat in the league when/if they can settle quickly. For me, our weakness lies up front. Whilst Jutkiewicz is a brilliant option to have and puts an incredible amount of work in during the game, I don’t think he’s going to be our answer to scoring 20 goals a season. He works much better with having a striking partner off him, which is why him and Che were such a success last season.
What are your thoughts on Forest? Who do you see as our main threat or best player and why?
To be honest, I haven’t kept much of an eye out for Forest over the summer. Obviously there’s been a change of management – which seems completely justifiable from the general reaction to Martin O’Neil being sacked. I couldn’t comment on any player recruitment you’ve made, however your most dangerous player against us is always Joe Lolley, which is no shock considering his football allegiances. Him and Grabban are definitely going to be a handful for our defenders on Saturday. I do look forward to seeing Carl Jenkinson playing though, he was easily one of the worst fullbacks I’ve seen at Blues and that takes some doing.
What would you give the clubs rivalry with Forest out of 10? 1 – being your 2nd team 5 – being a mutual respect and 10 – your most hated team.
Probably 6. Have no real big issue with Forest, but I wouldn’t say you’re my 2nd team either! I do prefer you to Derby though!
Most memorable encounter with Forest and why?
2011. It was our first season back in the Championship we came to your place and made McClaren walk. If my memory serves me correctly you were 1-0 up for most of the game, but we completely turned the game around with 15 minutes to go and ended up winning 1-3. Huge shoutout to Chris Wood for one of his celebrations after one of the goals. If you know, you know…
Predictions for Saturday?
I think it’ll be a tight game, it usually always is when we play. Therefore I’m going to go for a 1-1 draw and I’d be quite happy to come away from the City Ground with a point.
Many thanks to Jack @BirminghamFanTV for your thoughts!
FOREST BIRMINGHAM THROWBACK GAME