Vital Football

Latest Nottingham Forest News

Looking Back

Looking Back

Three months ago Nottingham Forest were flying. Seven points clear at the top in League One, the Reds were fully living up to their status as title favourites.



A sixth consecutive victory, as Brentford were brushed aside 2-0, ensured that second-placed Yeovil were left trailing in their smoke and Forest blazed into a daunting lead.

A pair of stunning free kicks from talismanic figure Kris Commons was capped off by the early, unexpected return from injury of an equally influential figure, Nathan Tyson.

With a third of the season gone, Forest had already amassed almost half the points total that had been enough to take both Colchester and Southend to promotion in the previous May.

Everything, it seemed, was rosy.

But, throughout it all one man refused to get carried away. Where Colin Calderwood was concerned, a an air of caution was the order of the day.

There was, we were reminded, still a long way to go in the season, nothing had been achieved yet. Promotion is earned in May, not November.

But then this seems to be the way of things where the Reds manager is concerned.

When Forest have done well, Calderwood's priority has been to keep their feet firmly planted on terra firma.

He is more than happy to talk up their abilities, to speak of their promotion credentials. But when Forest are on form, he steadfastly serves a reminder that there will be tougher times ahead.

It has only been when Forest have encountered the odd blip that Calderwood has allowed the more bullish side of his nature to show.

So perhaps it should be no surprise which side of Calderwood's personality is now in the ascendancy.

Following Scunthorpe's win over Bristol City in midweek, it is Forest who find themselves adrift of the leaders, by a margin of five points.

But with a third of the season left to play, Calderwood knows that the run-in has well and truly started.

And he believes his side should only have one target in mind - making sure they are either top of the table or within touching distance of it.

'We have 16 matches left at the moment, but then we will be down to 15 - and it is countdown time,' he said.

'There is no disaster if you don't win a game - as long as you remain in a position where the next game can take you to the top of the league, if you can pick up a win.

'We have always got to be in that scenario.

'I don't think we have to remind ourselves of what we are capable of - we just have to go out and do it. We have to go to work.'

In the short term, you suspect Calderwood's bullish stance will remain, purely because - despite having a game in hand on Scunthorpe - they will play at least two games before returning to the pinnacle of League One.

But, although he is unlikely to admit it publicly, Calderwood may also allow himself some reason for optimism when it comes to the fixtures Forest have left.

It is not hard to ascertain where things have begun to slide for Forest lately. Their away form over the last five games is the second worst in the division, with only Port Vale collecting fewer points than the two Calderwood's side have mustered.

But, crucially, nine of their remaining 16 games will be played at the City Ground.

Of those, potentially, three of their next four will be the most difficult, starting when they face a Northampton side tomorrow that, as well as wanting to prove a point to their former boss, have only lost twice away from home all season.

Blackpool and Doncaster - two sides with play-off aspirations, who have both won six times away - also visit within the next month and will provide tough opposition.

But, beyond that, six teams who do not boast the most impressive away records will visit the banks of the River Trent.

Cheltenham, Rotherham and Bournemouth have won only eight away games between them so far.

Huddersfield, Gillingham and Crewe are all mid-table teams, but have amassed 25 away defeats between them.

It is a similar story away from home, where Forest must visit two more relegation battlers, in the form of Brentford and Leyton Orient, as well as Chesterfield and Brighton, whose record at home is hardly glowing.

Expectation is something that Forest have long failed to live up to in recent years, but if they are to be successful, they must hope to pick up points from those games. But, even beyond those visits to the City Ground by Northampton, Doncaster and Blackpool, there are two even bigger games on the horizon.

Two matches that could decide Forest's fate.

On March 10, the Reds will make the journey to Scunthorpe with a point to prove, after seeing the Iron do the double over them last season - and inflict a humiliating 4-0 reversal in front of the Sky cameras in October.

But more than pride will be at stake at Glanford Park, whether it be because Forest are back on top or because they still have ground to make up on their hosts.

And the same will apply at Bristol City, on March 31, when victory would take Forest a very big step closer to promotion - with defeat likely to have the opposite effect.

But, when compared to their rivals, Forest do have an advantage, with Oldham, Scunthorpe, Bristol City and Yeovil all still to be involved in many matches against their key rivals.

So far this season, Calderwood's character has slowly become more easy to predict.

What will count more, come May, is that the same can be said of his players.



Nottingham Evening Post


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

Writer:
Date:Monday February 12 2007
Time: 8:33PM

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Nottingham Forest Articles

Forest Will Fight Any Rangers Compensation Claims

Nottingham Forest have promised they will fight any claims of compensation from Rangers over manager Mark Warburton.

Championship Cost Per Goal So Far In 2016/17

The end of the Championship campaign of 2016/17 is only a month and a bit away from fans across the country but as we go in to the remaining weeks of the campaign...

Brereton Linked With Liverpool Again

Youngster Ben Brereton's call up for the first time to the England Under 19 setup has also achieved a repetition of the speculation linking him with the likes of Liverpool.

EFL Goal Of 2016 Contenders Named

Ten EFL professional footballers find themselves nominated for the treasured Goal Of The Year gong for 2016.

Archived Vital Forest Articles

Vital Forest articles from

Site Journalists

Kev Finnegan
no email
Profile
Our Kids Dad
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Derby MotM
Suggested By:
Smith10%
Mancienne0%
Worrall0%
Fox2%
Pinillos28%
Vaughan8%
Cohen3%
Brereton8%
Clough8%
Osborn0%
Assombalonga1%
Sub-McCormack0%
Sub-Cash0%
Sub-Vellios32%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 38 24 6 8 78 38
2 Brighton 38 23 8 7 77 30
3 Huddersfield 37 22 5 10 71 4
4 Leeds Utd 38 21 6 11 69 16
5 Reading 38 20 7 11 67 2
6 Sheff Wed 38 18 8 12 62 9
7 Fulham 38 16 13 9 61 19
8 Norwich 38 16 9 13 57 9
9 Preston 38 15 12 11 57 6
10 Derby County 38 14 11 13 53 3
11 Barnsley 38 14 9 15 51 0
12 Aston Villa 38 13 12 13 51 0
13 Cardiff 38 14 9 15 51 -1
14 Brentford 38 14 8 16 50 3
15 Q.P.R. 38 14 8 16 50 -5
16 Wolves 37 12 9 16 45 -2
17 Ipswich 38 10 15 13 45 -9
18 Birmingham 38 11 12 15 45 -16
19 Bristol City 38 11 8 19 41 -3
20 Forest 38 11 8 19 41 -11
21 Burton 38 10 11 17 41 -14
22 Blackburn 38 9 13 16 40 -11
23 Wigan 38 8 10 20 34 -13
24 Rotherham 38 4 5 29 17 -54
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Nottingham Forest Results (view all)

Nottingham Forest Fixtures (view all)

Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : Preston North End (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 4 2017 7:45PM : Wolverhampton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 8 2017 3:00PM : Huddersfield Town (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 14 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 17 2017 3:00PM : Cardiff City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 22 2017 3:00PM : Reading (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Apollyon202
2.Pope John XXIII189
3.AdebolaCornflakes141
4.Calvin Plummer122
5.Sniffer Dog107
6.toms95
7.LyttleByLyttle92
8.Our Kids Dad88
9.da fuq82
10.Giuseppe Garibaldi80
Write for Vital Football