So Forest are finally back in action on Saturday with an away trip to Hillsborough for our promotion push going into the last 9 games. The shocking Millwall defeat seems a million miles away now and if anything, the lock down should have actually benefitted Forest in getting see much needed rest into tiring legs. With what seemed a lacklustre transfer window in January to bring in some fresh faces, we really did appear to be running on empty. Sammi Ameobi, Ben Watson, Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban were all players that were looking a little weary. This biggest plus is the return of Samba Sow but we never really know how long he’s going to last. He needs wrapping up in cotton wool from now until the end of the season that’s for sure. Hopefully we will get to see a but more from of Nuno Da Costa also; another that was struggling with injury.
What will be interesting for me to see is how the lack of a crowd will affect players performances. With a raft of younger talent in Brennan Johnson and Alex Mighten waiting in the wings; this maybe the perfect time for them to see some more action without the psychological impact of a crowd to worry about.
Fingers crossed we can get off to a good start on Saturday against Wednesday; whilst it’s important to pick up points, a good performance from Forest will also leave me with optimism as we were starting to struggle before the pandemic hit. We won’t talk about when Wednesday came to Forest earlier in the season so the players should be fully aware of the dangers that they can pose. I fancy us for a slim away win, 1-0 to Forest.
I caught up with a Wednesday fan in midweek to get his thoughts on Saturday’s game.
What’s your name and where are you from? How long have you supported Wednesday?
I have supported Wednesday all my life. I had family from Rotherham who used to take me to the games when I was younger; I was bought up on the likes of Chris Waddle, David Hirst (what a player), John Sheridan and Mark Bright. Those days seem a distant memory.
Before the lock down, it seemed a good time for Forest to be playing Wednesday. What was Wednesday form like going into that game and have your expectations changed for the fixture since lock down?
Wednesdays form going into the lock down wasn’t good, coming off a 5-0 loss to Brentford in the league and a 1-0 loss in the cup at the hands of Man City, which we stuck 11 men behind the ball for the majority of the game. I was dreading the return fixture of Forest, even though we had a great time at the City Ground back in December, a lot has changed since then. It’s rumoured Monk has fallen out with a number of key players, Westwood being one of them, we now have Cameron Dawson in goal and he made a few bad mistakes. Our leading scorer for this season was also injured so this meant we had little firepower upfront.
Who should Forest fans look out for from your team (key individuals) and what type of tactics/style should we expect from Monk’s Wednesday team?
I personally think there is too much inconsistency in the current Wednesday team, we have the likes of Connor Wickham,Fernando Forestieri and Jacob Murphy who are all capable of putting in excellent displays but they only do this about 1 in 5 games.
One player who I think is most consistent and our main threat is Barry Bannan; he controls the midfield area and sprays balls all over the pitch.If he’s on his game he will be the man to watch, just don’t keep him on his right foot!
What are your expectations for the final 9 games? What would salvage your season?
Unfortunately I don’t see Monk being able to gel the players and get them fired up for the rest of the season. With key players being pushed out the club, I don’t see a good ending for us. We also have the case from the EFL looming over us, are we getting a points deduction, yes? no?, if so how many points will it be? As it stands now a 10 point deduction will see us relegated!
Is there a particular Forest player you would like to take back to the Wednesday?
Joe Lolley would be the player that would be a good signing for us; we are desperate for pace down the wings and I think he would fit in well. If there would be one player that I wish we’d never let go to Forest, it would have to be Michail Antonio. He was an absolute workhorse with electric pace but apparently we needed the money at the time. £1.5 mil was an absolute steal though!
What’s your score prediction for the game (with scorers)?
For Saturdays game I predict a 1-2 loss (but I hope I’m wrong).
Many thanks to Richard for his contributions. Always appreciated here at Munich and Madrid.