Preview: Crewe v Forest
March 8, 2008.
Forest travel to Crewe on Saturday, in the hope of banishing the disappointing result at home to Carlisle on Monday night. The 1-0 defeat was only the second defeat at the City Ground this season, but the result now means the Reds are six points off the pace and an automatic spot.
With only 13 games of the season remaining, Forest can't afford any more slip ups. Crewe are struggling at the moment and sit just one place above the drop zone, but only on goal difference. It should be 3 points in the bag, no messing, but the feeling on Trentside at present would suggest that fans wouldn't bet on it. Whilst Calderwood will say he's confident of promotion, the fans think different. It's vital we win at Crewe and carry on the good work done at Brisbane Road a fortnight ago, in the 1-0 win over Orient. That win ended a barren spell, that saw us without a victory in 7 away games.
So, like every game between now and the end of the season, it's a must win game. The Railwaymen will be desperate for the points as well, as they are without a win in 3 games.
Former City Ground cult figure Eugen Bopp was told earlier this season that if he found another club, he was free to leave. But a midfield crisis at the club has made the Gresty Road outfit rethink their decision and now believe 'Eugen Bopp Bopp Bopp' will save the season for them. He's only made 6 starts this campaign and has recently lost his place in the side again, so don't bank on seeing him on Saturday.
Crewe Alexandra Team News:
Crewe have a host of injury worries ahead of the game. Striker Shaun Miller looks like missing the rest of the season with an ankle problem. Their main frontman Nicky Maynard is a major doubt and is unlikely to play a part. Defender George Abbey may also be missing.
Player to watch: Steven Schumacher
The former Everton and Bradford City midfielder has scored only once this season, but he did manage to bag 15 in 130 appearances for the Bantams before signing for Crewe.
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Ian Breckin is available after serving his one match suspension. Nathan Tyson may find himself back in contention, after this week resuming training. Definitely out is Will Hoskins, with his mysterious back strain. The Reds will give Luke Chambers as long as possible to recover from his dead leg and also await news on McGugan and Commons.
Player to watch: Julian Bennett
Decided to go for something different this week. Jules still has his doubters, of which I was one. But his marauding runs down the left flank are rapidly becoming the stuff of legend. He knows how to cross a ball and he does pop up with the odd goal.
Match Facts & Stats
The two sides have met a total of 15 times in the League. Forest have won 9, drawn 4 and lost 2. Back in November, we won 2-0 at home. Whilst last season we drew 0-0 at home and won 4-1 at Gresty Road, courtesy of a Nathan Tyson hat trick.
2-0 to Forest. We simply must win. Nothing else will do. A convincing result is needed to raise the moral of players and supporters alike.
Southend (a). Tuesday, March 11, 2008. KO 7.45pm.