Date:Wednesday February 7 2007
Forest welcome Northampton to the City Ground on Saturday, in what should be on paper an easy 3 points. But as seen against Bradford last week, nothing with Forest is quite as straight forward.
Although it was a much improved Forest against the Bantams, they will still be smarting at dropping 2 points in the last minute. The chance to put things right though, will come against what has to be said is a struggling Cobblers side.
Former Reds midfielder cum left back Stuart Gray is now in charge after John Gorman quit in January. Gray made 49 appearances for Forest in the early 80's. His 7 games in charge at Sixfields have seen him win 2, draw 2 and lose 3. The last victory came in a 3-0 win at home to fellow relegation contenders Millwall. The two sides sit at opposing ends of the table, with Forest sitting in 3rd, 5 points off the top. Northampton sit in 19th, 3 points above the drop zone.
Former Forest players Eoin Jess and Chris Doig will be hoping to renew acquaintances with their old teammates, although neither played in the 1-0 midweek defeat at the hands of Port Vale. Forest fans will fondly remember the earlier encounter between the two sides at Sixfields when Doig put the ball in his own net from close range. One welcome and notable absentee from the game will be Scott McGleish, who was surprisingly released by the Cobblers. The clubs top scorer has signed for League 2 side Wycombe Wanderers.
Colin Calderwood who last year led the Northampton side to promotion can look forward to a warm reception from the travelling fans. Or at least you would think so, after guiding the side to the lofty heights of League 1, it seems that they were none too pleased at their former manager taking over at the City Ground. Anyway it all makes for an intriguing encounter.
Sammy Clingan will be missing due to his second suspension of the season. Kris Commons could be recalled to the squad after his hamstring injury, but having only played 45 mins for the reserves, maybe the bench is the best he can hope for. It is widely believed that former Northampton captain Luke Chambers will also be missing, due to an arrangement in his contract between the two clubs.
Calderwood will have to decide between McGugan and Gary Holt for the vacant roll in midfield and Jack Lester will hope to keep his place in the starting line up as he impressed last week.
Will play his first game in front of the City Ground crowd since his return from Southampton. The influential midfielder will hopefully continue the good start he had at Valley Parade and dictate proceedings in the centre of the park.
Northampton were a little busier than Forest in the transfer window and look set to start with new boys Marc Laird, from Man City, Jordan Robertson, from Sheff Utd and Kenny Deuchar, from Gretna.
Although Andy Kirk is the clubs top scorer since McGleish departed with 7 goals, Kenny Deuchar will be the one to watch as he hit over 60 goals for Gretna in two seasons.
The two sides have a brief history, only meeting 7 times previously. The Reds have won 1, drawn 5 and lost 1.
The weather may turn out to be the only winner as the fixture is already in doubt with snow and ice being predicted. Assuming the game gets the go ahead, then the Reds should manage a 2-0 victory.
Saturday, February 17, 3pm. Brighton, away.
Date:Wednesday February 7 2007
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