Date:Thursday August 24 2006
Nottingham Forest boss Colin Calderwood will not be pressing the panic button, despite his side becoming the first of this weeks many shocks in the first round of the Carling Cup.
Far from it, in fact. Calderwood, who arrived at the City Ground in the summer after successfully guiding Northampton to promotion from League Two, is already weaving his magic in the East Midlands.
The expected immediate return to the Championship didnt materialise last year for Forest and Gary Megson vacated the hot seat. Calderwood arrived and has seen his new charges rack up four straight wins to hit the ground running in their quest for promotion.
Monday nights televised blip at the hands of Accrington Stanley was a timely reminder that there is much still to be done, however. Nevertheless, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Football League new boys in the first round is not the end of the world in Calderwoods eyes.
Forest suffered exactly the same fate 12 months ago when they crashed out of the same competition at the first round stage against Macclesfield. And the City Ground boss wants his team to brush off their Carling Cup exit and cement their promotion credentials at Huddersfield this weekend.
'One defeat does not make a disaster,' he said. 'We have got a good group of players, but what counts is how we respond to this, what the reaction is to the ups and downs of the season. The game at Huddersfield was always going to be a big one.
'We were always going to have a defeat at some point this season; we will see the reaction now. We have to lick our wounds and make sure the response is right. A defeat in front of the cameras is not ideal and the next game is one we will want to come round quickly.
'We are disappointed to lose the game; we are out of the cup. A game against Premiership opposition would have been a nice reward for the start to the season we had made. But we didn't do enough. The question is whether this is a setback or a catastrophe - we have to make sure it is just a setback.'
Calderwood has made only minimal changes to the squad he inherited from Megson, with goalkeeper Paul Smith the only arrival from Southampton. Although they have made one bid for Bristol Rovers striker Junior Agogo, he is in no rush to augment his squad ahead of the August 31 deadline. Providing they keep producing the goods, he is happy to continue working with the jewels that Megson left behind.
'I always knew there was ability, but the attitude has been excellent as well, from the first day of pre-season,' he continued. 'I hope that anyone who was left out knew that it wasn't their fault, because they knew they had given themselves a good chance of being picked.
'There were players returning who were like new signings. And there are injured players on their way back as well. We are not going to play as well as you would like in every game. But the ambition is still there and we will re-ignite that and get them ready for Saturday.
'The season is eight months long. There is improvement still to come.'
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