Leeds 0 Forest 1

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February 8, 2016 by notjustpumpkinbread

We’re starting to get towards the business end of the season and like it or not, this run we’re being taken on by Mr Dougie, his team of coaching staff and all those that wear the Garibaldi will start to make us think about stuff we daren’t consider. We did, of course, allow ourselves to experience similar feelings of “what if?” towards the end of February last year – then we lost our top scorer and pretty much ran out of steam. But what if?

Don’t worry, I’m not really going to go there, I’m just skirting around a notion. It feels good though, doesn’t it? Of course, for me (being the eternal optimist I am) it always feels good. I don’t have that geographic connection the vast majority of Forest fans possess, but it’s still pretty damn special to support The Mighty Reds. It feels like some of the stuff going on at our club – the stuff to do with the team, both playing and coaching – is settled and positive and all the right things are being said at all the right times. So, there was that “clearing things up” start to Mr Dougie’s pre-match press conference which befuddled some people, but I could see where he was coming from; I kind of “got” what he was trying to say. He’s honest and open and respectful and polite – I bet there are a few fans of a fews teams out there wishing their manager was like ours. He’s not going to get embroiled in bitchy, cat-calling nonsense. He lets his team do the talking for him and they’ve been shouting about it for the last 13 league games. I also like that he refers to Brian Clough as “Mr. Clough” – that’s just classy.

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Saturday was another away day I wasn’t at, but what a travelling support we had at Elland Road – 2,266 to be precise. There to witness (by all accounts) another dominant, controlled performance that resulted in another 0-1 away win. The can’t be any team looking forward to us visiting them between now and the end of the season. Here’s some thoughts on the proceedings:

  • You have to wonder if pricing the aways tickets at £37 was an attempt to discourage a large section of away support from turning up. It didn’t work. Our away support is tremendous and always has been.
  • Dorus de Vries has bided his time since joining us, demonstrating a great deal of patience. He’s got 9 clean sheets in the league this season and has not conceded a goal in our last four league games. It’s been a little while since we’ve had a goalkeeper of his sheer quality.
  • That back four of Lichaj, Mills, Mancienne and Jokic looks very strong and grows in confidence with every game. That Jokic has slotted in nicely (following the unfortunate injury sustained by Dani Pinillos) is a testament to our scouting network, the coaching staff and the players. He’s clearly a player of quality. In fairness, I’m sure had Dani not been injured, the defensive unit would still be producing performances like this.
  • While Henri Lansbury is also a player of great quality, we don’t appear to be missing him at the moment. A midfield that includes Vaughan, Gardner, Tesche and Osborn oozes assurance as well as the potential for creativity and good forward play.
  • With Ward, Mendes and Oliver Burke to choose from when considering wing play, the depth to our squad is very pleasing.
  • It was good to see Jorge Grant on the bench once more, but after his display against Watford it would have been nice to see him contribute at some point. I’m sure his time will come though.
  • It was great to hear of Lord Nelson’s contribution to the team as a whole. On his day, his work rate is first class and based on Saturday’s performance, I think his overall game has improved since joining us.
  • Steve Evans is a sore loser and an unmentionable word.

We’re 10th now, 8 points off the play-off places. We’ve still got to play 6 of the 9 teams above us, so I suppose anything could happen – we’ll just have to wait and see. In the immediate future, it’s Huddersfield at home, who’ve lost their last 3 games on the bounce.

COME ON YOU REDS!!!

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