Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 6: Cardiff City
October 25 will see Forest play Cardiff City for the first time in three years. The games between us in recent times have generally gone the way of the Bluebirds, but Forest will be hoping to end a barren spell against them.
You have to go back to 1976, to find the last time we beat them. In November of that year we beat them 3-0 at Ninian Park, but since then, they've had the bragging rights. The last time we played them in the League was in 2005. They gave us a 3-0 drubbing at their place in January and held us to a dire 0-0 at the City Ground. In 36 meetings between the teams, Forest have won 11, drawn 8 and lost 17.
Cardiff City are now hitting something approaching stability, after a time of financial difficulties that nearly saw them fold as a club. The last two seasons, under the management of former Coventry and Southampton boss Dave Jones have been a relative success for the Taffs. This season they ended up as beaten FA Cup finalists and just missed out on the Play Offs.
They have a few big name players in their ranks, in the shape of Robbie Fowler and Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, as well as the growing talent of Jo Ledley. Although they have had to part with the impressive Aaron Ramsey, they still have former Red Riccardo Scimeca at the club. It will be interesting to see if we land Peter Whittingham in the coming weeks. The Bluebird has been a Forest target since January and is a hot prospect either for us, or Cardiff if he stays with them.
The game at Ninian Park next season will be the last time we'll play there, as they have a shiny new ground to move into in 2009. Although it's a fair trek to the away fixture, it's a good day out. You have to be on your toes though, as they do have a few hot heads down there and there is a bit of previous between the fans. That said, they will be great games with decent crowds. They have a good away following that should ensure a sizeable crowd and good atmosphere in both games.
Amendment: Cardiff City actually had the second lowest away following in the Championship last season. They took an average of 720 fans to away games, better only than Colchester United (522).