January 25, 2016 by notjustpumpkinbread
Many a superlative has already been thrown our way when considering the magnitude of Saturday’s win and its significance cannot be downplayed. While there were certain ramifications to be mulled over prior to that game against them up the road, this result is just as important, but for differing reasons. The manner of our performances had signalled the possibility of getting some kind of result on that particular night and Mr Dougie showed his astute tactical abilities when setting up the team. Failure to do so could have signalled the death knell. The Derby game was a platform from which to launch the rest of our season and despite that minor aberration a Griffin Park, so it has proven to be.
Those subsequent foundations, laid over our 11 game unbeaten run, would finally be truly tested against the current league leaders. Being the myopic, positive fan I am, I thought we may well draw the game and that would have been a great point gained. Of course my wife will tell you she said Forest would win, which she indeed did; but while she follows football vicariously, she isn’t (with the greatest of respect) a football fan. She is, however, always right! We may have stumbled slightly on our road to this fixture – drawing a couple of games more than we would have liked; surrendering 1 goal leads when pushing on seemed the obvious choice to us that aren’t in the know – but as our always positive manager keeps telling us in his post-match interviews, we’re building something and moving in the right direction.
And so it proved to be. Here’s what I took from the game.
- Yet another fine turn out from our travelling support.
- The similarities in performance between the Derby game and this one cannot be denied. While it seemed Middlesbrough saw more of the ball than Derby and so in turn were able to create more chances, our innate adeptness to stoicism proved too great. They were stifled, just like Derby.
- Mr Dougie made a ballsy call to move Mancienne into a defensive midfield position. He’s been a rock of late alongside Mills, so to change that established partnership was a brave thing to do.
- It was good to see Jack Hobbs back in the heart of the defence. He slotted in like he’d never been away.
- That middle three of Gardner, Tesche and Mancienne are pure quality.
- Jamie Ward is a striker.
- It was great to see Oliver Burke getting yet another start. To see his name on the team sheet is cause for genuine excitement.
- Jokic is looking like an absolutely great addition to the squad.
- Ben Osborn will run all day and gives 100% – even when playing out of position.
- To see Downing being substituted at half time was proof our tactics were working. We forced the opposition into making changes they probably didn’t want to make.
- Mr Dougie’s substitutions were on point. Even at the end of the game – when our hosts were pushing for a goal – we still managed to stretch them as we pushed forward to score a second. Proof that the appearances of Lord Nelson and Mendes were the correct changes to make.
- Gary Gardner plays for Nottingham Forest mate.
So, it’s QPR tomorrow night. They’ve only won once under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, but I’m sure will be looking to make amends for the loss in the Cup. I have faith though, as do we all. We’re making progress and can mix it with the best of them in this league. I may even have a cheeky bet.
COME ON YOU REDS!!!