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Mick's Match Day Preview - Nottingham Forest vs. Derby County
Friday, 16th Sep 2011 14:03 by Mick McDermott
The build up has not been as exciting as usual for this clash, is it the fear of losing? Is it the fact wee Billy is gone? Is it that Forest has started the season poorly? Fact is - once the first whistle is blown – it will be game on!
Nottingham Forest vs. Derby County
The City Ground, Nottingham
1:00 pm - 17th September 2011
Nothing-ham comes into the match in worst recent form than the Rams with 2 losses and a draw from their past three matches.
Unlike the Rams though – Forest don’t have the advantage of a cracking start to lean on - sitting fourth from bottom and in danger of dropping into the bottom 3 if they lose this match.
Speaking to the media, Steve McLaren was doing his best to build up the match, as on the pitch he is struggling to kick-start his new team.
"When you are in it it's as big as the Manchester 'derby' or any other 'derby' - it's a passionate affair. I think we demonstrated with the Notts County game last month how the atmosphere can be different and can be electric.”
"I hope to get that again tomorrow. I want it to be a special game, a different game, and I want it to be the start of us winning matches, which we need to do. In one of my first seasons I played for Derby against Forest at the Baseball Ground in a cup tie.”
"All I remember is that it was a fantastic occasion, a good game between two fantastic teams. Forest was in the top flight and we were in the old Second Division and although we got beat I remember it being a great game.”
"There was a wonderful atmosphere with great passion. It just had that feeling of being a special game, not just for the players but for the fans."
Steve’s comments definitely lack the ‘do or die’ spice of Billy and his ‘us against them’ mentality. I never thought I would say this but I think for the first time I may actually miss the insane little gnome.
Hopefully the players will produce the pulse that the build up has lacked off the field.
Recent Forest Form:
P 6 W 1 D 2 L 3 F 6 A 11
Findlay, McGugan (2cp 1lg)
Current Forest Squad
No. Position Player
1 GK Lee Camp
4 DF Luke Chambers (captain)
5 DF Wes Morgan
6 MF George Boateng
7 MF Paul Anderson
8 FW Matt Derbyshire
9 FW Ishmael Miller
10 MF Lewis McGugan
11 MF Andy Reid
12 MF Garath McCleary
14 MF Jonathan Greening
15 MF Chris Cohen
16 DF Chris Gunter
17 FW David McGoldrick
19 MF Guy Moussi
20 FW Marcus Tudgay
21 GK Paul Smith
23 FW Dexter Blackstock
24 FW Robbie Findley
27 DF Brendan Moloney
28 MF Radosław Majewski
30 DF Karlton Watson
31 DF Neill Byrne
32 MF Danny Meadows
33 DF Joel Lynch
38 GK Karl Darlow
41 DF Kieron Freeman
44 DF Jamaal Lascelles
Information for travelling fans
It's a short hop from Derby to Nottingham. Take Brian Clough Way eastwards and pick up the A6011 in Nottingham. You'll see the ground easily from there. I'd take the train.
There's a large car park by the ground or street parking. You can end up parked a long way from the ground if you arrive late.
Almost all of the pubs near the ground are for home fans only. Given the nature of this fixture and the early kick off it’s probably wise to avoid most pubs.
In previous years, the Wheeler Club which is the Notts County Supporters Club, has been welcoming though I've not seen anything posted online about it this time.
Two defeats after a fine start to the season, have the wheels come off for Nigel Clough?
This is probably the biggest game of the season so far as far as fans are concerned and the early season optimism coupled with Forest's poor form had the fans convinced this would be an easy victory.
The last two games have tempered this with realism and there's now an element of trepidation among the fans.
To be fair to Nigel Clough, injuries and paucity of squad mean he lacks options and it's all so frustrating. We're apparently looking at Matt Oakley to fill the gap left by the injured Bailey yet we should have sorted out these issues in the summer.
I can appreciate that GSE have to run a tight ship but in my opinion a couple of key signings would turn the squad we have into a good team - then GSE might get their Premier League reward.
It just will require investment.
Years ago I can remember us starting a season without a key goal scorer and we struggled. Then we signed Dean Saunders and suddenly the team was firing on all cylinders.
I hate calling these games but I can't see us keeping Forest out. They do seem to be dodgy at the back and with the Tyson factor I don't expect them to keep us out.
A hard fought draw I reckon.
Forest 2-2 Rams
Photo: Action Images
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