Thursday, 16 October 2014

Start the Car

So, the plan of getting injured players back to full fitness during the international break didn't quite go according to plan. Instead, Nottingham Forest were dealt the twin blows that both influential midfielder Andy Reid and defensive rock Jack Hobbs will be missing for the foreseeable future - around three months in both cases. Not the kind of news we wanted to hear and an unwelcome hark back to the injury situation of last season. The only positive to be taken from this is that, hopefully, both players will be fit again in early 2015 - just the right time to boost what will hopefully still be our promotion push.

Added to the revelation that Crystal Palace are now playing silly buggers over the permanent signing of Jack Hunt, it's fair to say that the break hasn't been the most fruitful for Forest. Still, at least nobody else got injured...

Anyway, it's back to the League and back in front of the Sky cameras for our next match; the always-tricky trip to South Wales to take on Cardiff City at the inspiringly-named Cardiff City Stadium. Although this is never an easy fixture, Forest's recent record here hasn't been too bad.

This time round we'll be facing a side who, after giving Blackpool their first Championship win of the season, will be lining up for the first time under their new manager; the ex Notts County boss and open Forest admirer Russell Slade. Hopefully his admiration for the Reds (our Reds, not his new ones) will stretch to letting us take the three points.

Cardiff have made a shaky start to the season following their relegation - which is why Slade replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the first place. However, they can still call upon a squad containing the likes of Peter Whittingham, Adam Le Fondre and Federico Macheda, to name but a few.

As yet it's not known if David Vaughan has recovered sufficiently to take any part in the match, so it's likely that Forest will line up with their away formation of 4-5-1, though presumably Matt Fryatt will be fit to start alongside Britt Assombalonga if Stuart Pearce does decide to go with two up-front.

In isolation, a draw away at Cardiff would feel like a pretty decent result. But it's been so long since we've won a match (even though we still haven't lost one) that, in the context of our current run, a draw would seem a little disappointing. The Bluebirds aren't - at the moment - as much of a threat as in previous seasons and a fully-firing Forest should be able to give them a decent game. Our last televised match away in the League saw a battling 1-0 win away at Sheffield Wednesday. A similar result and performance would do just fine.

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