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Colin Needs To Avoid Playoffs

After a sluggish Easter, CC needs to get his charges revved-up if he is to avoid the perilous waters of the play-offs.

Two seasonal gifts from Bristol City were passed up over a weekend that has not only raised doubts over Nottingham Forest's ability to earn automatic promotion, but also negotiate their way through the sudden death nature of the play-offs.

Twice in as many games Colin Calderwood used the word poor when describing his team's performance, as twice in as many games they failed to capitalise on Bristol's end-of-season jitters.

The Forest manager had predicted a slump from their main rivals for second place - but what he didn't expect was an identical wobble from his own troops.

The sight of Blackpool over their shoulders makes the seasiders more of an immediate concern than Bristol ahead of them. If Calderwood were to draw on the positives it would be that Bristol remain within touching distance. But even given the Ashton Gate side's slump, there is nothing to suggest Forest can capitalise if Gary Johnson's men continue their slide.

While his pre, and even post, match optimism is enviable, the simple fact of the matter is that the performances are undermining the manager's words.

The must-win games against Millwall and Rotherham have come and gone without victory as Calderwood failed to get a reaction from his players.

By their own admission they barely showed up at the New Den, and while yesterday's performance was full of endeavour, few would have begrudged Rotherham all three points.

'Colin, sort it out,' chanted a City Ground crowd looking for guidance.

Soon after they took matters into their own hands.

'Attack, attack,' they instructed, but were left with only a Kris Commons free kick and another effort from the midfielder that was cleared off line, to get them out of their seats in the second half.

Despite the impressive wins against Gillingham and Cheltenham last month, his cutting edge is looking decidedly blunt.

And that only looks like being exacerbated by a worrying medial ligament problem for Nathan Tyson.

Calderwood is finding the cupboard decidedly bare just when he needs provisions most.

Junior Agogo has already been ruled out for the season, while Scott Dobie has suffered another in a long line of injuries, a thigh problem forcing him out of the last three games.

It leaves Forest with the prospect of only Jack Lester and Grant Holt as recognised strikers.

The very fact two of his three substitutions yesterday involved bringing on defenders, showed how short of attacking options he is.

Ian Breckin's goal tally was impressive last season but he never looked like increasing his personal haul when used as a makeshift striker late on.

Calderwood will still feel Forest can fire their way to automatic promotion.

But with their challenge looking like grinding to a halt, you wonder where he will find the fire power to get them moving again.

Nottingham Evening Post

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

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 10 2007

Time: 1:03PM


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