UK time is: 16:31:45
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

There's Only One Decent Lester

SUPPORTERS have long claimed there's only one Jack Lester - but Colin Calderwood may have unearthed a second one.

And if Saturday's draw with Bradford is a barometer, this one could be even better than the original.

Lester might not have even still been a Forest player now had interest from Gillingham, Peterborough and Northampton come to anything in January. But the striker has since turned up in a new role that could see him play a pivotal role between now and the end of the season.

Deployed in central midfield at Valley Parade, he certainly played a key role in what looked like being Forest's first away win since December, creating one and scoring another.

Though a forward by trade, his presence in the middle of the park provided Calderwood's side with a creative edge that has been crucially lacking of late.

There can be no better measure of the problems Forest have had in the attacking third of late than the inauspicious statistic that they had failed to work an opposition goalkeeper in their previous two matches.

That, coupled with their difficulties on the road meant Calderwood had to find a cutting edge from somewhere for their fourth consecutive away fixture.

Few would have thought defeat at Bournemouth in December - their first away in the league this season - would be the start of a troubled run that would see them win only one more game away from the City Ground between then and February.

Fewer still would have believed the goal that completed Nathan Tyson's hat-trick at Crewe that same week would be the last any Forest player would score away from home before the striker equalised on Saturday.

That has been the measure of their troubles over the past two months and undoubtedly why Calderwood has sought to find solutions even in unlikely areas.

The result was to put Lester into the heart of midfield, providing Forest with their most cohesive performance to date from the middle of the park.

By pairing him with Sammy Clingan, Forest now have two ball-playing men in the engine room. As well as providing them with an extra creative influence, it crucially gives them better ball retention, which has been such a problem this season.

For all the qualities of Gary Holt and James Perch possess, they are essentially energetic ball winners, who will rarely unlock opposing defences.

Conversely Lester has the ability to soft shoe his way around the edge of the area before picking off runs.

That was demonstrably the case when he played in Wes Morgan for Forest's equaliser on Saturday, leaving the centre back with the time and space to square to Tyson.

David Prutton's presence also had a noticeable impact on a midfield that had run out of ideas in the midweek defeat at Carlisle.

He may not offer the natural width of Nicky Southall, but he is an effervescent type, whose two efforts on goal inside the first five minutes were an example of what he will bring to a midfield desperately lacking in goals.

While unlikely to make up for the potency that has been robbed by Southall's departure, Prutton's intelligence could prove even more important.

His top-flight experience was evident on Saturday, making the game look simple as he injected much-needed composure in the centre of the park.

So improved was Forest's possession that the travelling support greeted a series of first-half passes with chants of ''ole''. In recent weeks they've barely been able to get past ''o...'' without the ball being relinquished.

For a long period it looked like being a day of celebration for supporters who've had to endure return journeys from Swansea, London and Carlisle with little to cheer.

They should have been out of sight by time Billy Paynter's late strike robbed them of victory at the death.

And though it will have felt like another defeat after looking so comfortable for long, the very fact that Forest dominated suggests there could be many more enjoyable journeys to come this season.




Nottingham Evening Post




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 5 2007

Time: 2:23PM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Nottingham Forest Articles

Charlton v Forest Match Preview (Tuesday March 3 2015)

RIP Dave Mackay (Tuesday March 3 2015)

Tesche Joins Birmingham! (Monday March 2 2015)

Freedman's Forest Break Clause (Monday March 2 2015)

Darlow Had Best Reading Position (Monday March 2 2015)

Tesche Set For Birmingham Loan? (Monday March 2 2015)

Reading v Forest Match Preview (Friday February 27 2015)

Archived Nottingham Forest Articles

List All Vital Forest Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
6. Ipswich 34 17 9 8 18 60
7. Brentford 34 18 4 12 9 58
8. Wolves 34 16 9 9 7 57
9. Forest 34 13 11 10 8 50
10. Sheff Wed 34 11 13 10 -2 46
11. Blackburn 34 11 12 11 -1 45
12. Charlton 34 9 15 10 -6 42

Breaking League News

Holloway Ahead Of Middlesbrough
Millwall : 03/03/2015 16:27:00
Millwall Appoint Mills As Head Of Recruitment
Millwall : 03/03/2015 16:21:01
Millwall Release Rotherham Statement
Millwall : 03/03/2015 16:15:00
Charlton v Forest Match Preview
Forest : 03/03/2015 16:03:01
Shotton - Respond Against Brighton
Derby County : 03/03/2015 16:02:01

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Charlton v Forest
Suggested By:  Site Staff
Forest win 50%
Charlton win 25%
Draw 25%