Pageviews last month

Popular Posts

Follow Us

Monday, 18 March 2013

Whisper It No Longer, Promotion is a Real Possibility

Although I looked at the issue before and made certain projections and guesses about what we would need for promotion, I have tried to remain somewhat calmer on the issue than deciding that we are on the up. With some very dangerous fixtures coming up there were plenty of pitfalls and traps to stop our bid to reach the playoffs.


Well, things change. Not only have we overcome a very tricky fixture that I had factored at best as a draw, and a potential defeat, but the possibility of surpassing even the playoff aim remains very real. Not just real, but also within our grasp.

I scoffed not long ago at people suggesting we could make it. With 10 games left we’d need 31 points to reach the average points tally for promotion, and would need to win 8 games to reach the lowest over the last few years. But this year’s championship is a strange beast. Compare the points range to League One for instance and it is frankly scary. Anyone below 9th is embroiled in a relegation scrap. Above and it’s all open save for Cardiff moving clear at the top. 15 points spate the playoffs from relegation give or take. Derby in 9th would be the mire had they not beaten Leicester hovering 2 points above the drop in around 19th. The lower mid table is that tight. In League 1 the range is more like 30 points between playoffs and relegation.

What that suggests is 1, how tight the league really is, and 2 that such a thin spread of points means that the points needed to go up, might drop accordingly. Everyone seems so keen to slip up that it leaves the race wide open.

And now following that away win at Hull it is on. The race is open, and we’re driving a big tree shaped object right into that gap. I haven’t looked at the odds but over the last few weeks our odds must have tumbled quite dramatically. We still remain an outside by position and by our fixtures. But that forgets the momentum we have built.

Unfortunately the international break may well scupper that. Some are saying it will be a rest and a break to reinvigorate forgetting that we have our fair share of internationals that will be off representing their various nationalities. It’s only a break if you aren’t playing, and Guedioura, Cox, Lansbury and Majewski, all pivotal players in recent weeks will be off with their nationalities. I’ve tried to find out if Jara is away with Chile but the squad lists I found aren’t conclusive. But that’s an integral core of the squad who won’t be getting rests or having their feet up as many seem to think the international break is for, but instead will be busy.

Davies had spoke about the players looking leggy, but bear in mind he hasn’t rotated people at all to counteract that in the midfield or defence. Up front has seen various changes to combat injury, illness or specific targets the team wants. Bear in mind the one position struggling to hit the high levels expected is the one where we have been rotating. The strikers have struggled to net a lot, whilst the settled midfield went on a free scoring run of form. The defence have looked more secure. So the notion they need a rest for looking leggy is already looking slightly misplaced. The midfield was rotated earlier this season and didn’t reap the rewards of a settled structure and personnel.

The win against Hull has firmly established our credentials as promotion chasers, even for Claridge and Manish Bhasin to contend we are in there. Not just because of our form, but the fact the rest of the contenders seem intent on not going up. Watford, Leicester, Middlesbrough, Palace have all gone onto dodgy form, Brighton wavered until yesterday and we know about Hull. So not only are we hitting form, but everyone else is losing theirs.

The win on Saturday may well have been a backs to the wall job late on, and Bruce may rightfully claim they could and should have got more out of it, but you have to score those chances you get which Hull didn’t. It was always going to happen that Boyd scored for Hull after the whole Eye-gate thing at the end of January, but that episode bought about where we are today indirectly. And under McLeish we would have wilted. Instead we buckled down, got a goal through big Darius, and then snuck a winner and battled to a win clearing off the line in the last moments after McGugans goal. Radio Nottingham spoke of a slice of luck, and that occasionally you need to utilise it, and we surely did that on Saturday.

We could easily have only taken a point from that, and I think many would have been content with that, but as the wins continue to come so does the level of expectation rise, and I hope that doesn’t lead to pressure implosion we sometimes see with Forest, usually in the playoffs. We’ve played with the pressure firmly off of late. And we have reaped the rewards. The pressure will be on in a new way soon. And now we have to manage that. The fairweathers who demand wins for the few games they go to, as they only come out when we’re winning will be out in their droves. We just need make sure these legacies of the past; of imploding when the pressure and focus comes back to us doesn’t happen again. Maybe that’s why an under the radar, unheralded run has helped. No-one really saw us as contenders. Now they do, and so do we.

0 comments:

Twitter

Labels

Nottingham Forest (693) Match Reports (104) Fawaz Al-Hasawi (96) Transfer Rumours (82) Billy Davies (61) Transfer (58) The Future (31) Derby County (30) Match Preview (25) Podcast (25) Progress Report (23) Henri Lansbury (22) Nigel Doughty (22) Humour (20) Stuart Pearce (20) Andy Reid (18) IntotheForest (18) Leicester City (18) New Manager (18) Twitter (18) Guy Moussi (17) Lewis McGugan (17) Chris Cohen (16) Marcus Tudgay (16) Matt Derbyshire (16) Steve McClaren (16) Player of the Month (14) Takeover (14) Dexter Blackstock (13) Karl Darlow (13) Lee Camp (13) Loanee Watch (13) Sean O'Driscoll (13) Season Review (13) Steve Cotterill (13) Adlene Guedioura (12) F.A. Cup (12) Fans (12) Injury News (12) Dougie Freedman (11) Jonathan Greening (11) Radoslaw Majewski (11) Remember Them? (11) Robert Earnshaw (11) Stats (11) Alex McLeish (10) Danny Collins (10) Ishmael Miller (10) Jamaal Lascelles (10) Luke Chambers (10) Play-Offs (10) Robbie Findley (10) Cardiff (9) Financial Fair Play (9) Garath McCleary (9) Greg Halford (9) Jamie Paterson (9) Kelvin Wilson (9) Leeds United (9) Rafik Djebbour (9) Simon Cox (9) Ben Osborn (8) Chris Gunter (8) City Ground (8) David McGoldrick (8) Djamel Abdoun (8) Middlesbrough (8) Omar al-Hasawi (8) Site News (8) Steven McLaughlin (8) Swansea (8) Videos (8) West Ham United (8) Burnley (7) Contracts (7) Dan Harding (7) Darius Henderson (7) Doncaster (7) Finances (7) Hull City (7) Ipswich Town (7) Jack Hobbs (7) Joe Garner (7) Lookalikes (7) Mark Arthur (7) Simon Gillett (7) Transfer Panel (7) Twitter Idiots (7) Watford (7) World Cup (7) Barnsley (6) Birmingham City (6) Blackpool (6) Crystal Palace (6) Dimitar Evtimov (6) Evangelos Marinakis (6) Frank Clark (6) Jamie Mackie (6) Jim Price (6) Lars Veldwijk (6) Matty Fryatt (6) Media (6) Millwall (6) Nathan Tyson (6) Nottingham Post (6) Paul McKenna (6) Reading (6) Transfer Deadline Day (6) Wes Morgan (6) Bakary Sako (5) Britt Assombalonga (5) Danny Fox (5) Des Walker (5) Goals (5) Gonzalo Jara (5) International Break (5) Jermaine Jenas (5) Joel Lynch (5) Khalid al-Rashidi (5) Kris Boyd (5) Mr Geo Challenge (5) Nialle Rodney (5) Nigel Clough (5) Oliver Burke (5) Patrick Bamford (5) Scunthorpe United (5) Sheffield United (5) Siphiwe Tshabalala (5) Brian Clough (4) Bristol City (4) Dorus de Vries (4) Formation Analysis (4) George Boateng (4) Goalkeeper (4) Jamie Ward (4) Louis Laing (4) Manic Loop (4) Marlon Harewood (4) Michail Antonio (4) Newcastle United (4) Paul Konchesky (4) Portsmouth (4) Preston (4) Ryan Bertrand (4) Sheffield Wednesday (4) Strikers (4) Tyler Walker (4) Wolves (4) Aaron Ramsey (3) Alex Iacovetti (3) Bader al-Motawa (3) Ben Olsen (3) Big Eck (3) Bolton Wanderers (3) Bournemouth (3) Caption Contest (3) Celtic (3) Chris Burke (3) Colin Calderwood (3) Coventry (3) David Platt (3) David Vaughan (3) Dele Adebola (3) Eugen Bopp (3) Felix Bastians (3) For Sale (3) Forest Around the World (3) Forest Villains (3) George Boyd (3) George Elokobi (3) Grant Holt (3) Green Scarf Brigade (3) James Perch (3) Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (3) Julian Bennett (3) Kevin Gomis (3) Kit Design (3) Lee Peltier (3) Manchester City (3) Midfield (3) My Favourite Players (3) My First Game (3) Nathaniel Chalobah (3) Notts County (3) Peterborough (3) Promotion (3) QPR (3) Radio Nottingham (3) Robert Tesche (3) Roy Keane (3) Squad (3) Sticker Sets (3) Stream (3) Tactical Analysis (3) The Case For and Against (3) Transfer Window (3) Academy (2) Adam Hammill (2) Andy Balderstone (2) BBC (2) Billy Sharp (2) Blackburn Rovers (2) Bridgford Stand (2) Brighton (2) Chants (2) Charlie Austin (2) Charlton Athletic (2) Chelsea (2) Daily Mail (2) Daniel Taylor (2) Darren Ward (2) David Pleat (2) Embargo (2) England (2) Eric Lichaj (2) Forest Crap for Sale (2) Forest7 (2) Friendly's (2) Gary Hooper (2) Gerry McDonagh (2) Goal of the Season (2) Grant Leadbitter (2) Greg Cunningham (2) Huddersfield Town (2) I Was There (2) International Round Up (2) Jason Holt (2) John Jay Moores (2) John Percy (2) John Terry (2) Jordan Rhodes (2) Kenny Burns (2) Kuwait (2) Left Back (2) Mark Byrne (2) Martin O'Neill (2) Match Experience (2) Match Postponed (2) Matchday (2) Matchline (2) Matt Thornhill (2) Matt Waterfield (2) Matthew Briggs (2) Michael Mancienne (2) My Favourite Away Day (2) Nakhi Wells (2) New Kit (2) New Stadium (2) Nicky Shorey (2) Northern Ireland (2) Paul Anderson (2) Paul McGregor (2) Peter Shilton (2) Player of the Season (2) Rearranged fixtures (2) Rob Dorsett (2) Roger Riera (2) Ryan Mendes (2) Ryan Yates (2) Scot Gemmill (2) Steve Hodge (2) The Guardian (2) Tickets (2) Tony Woodcock (2) Transfer Roundup (2) Unbeaten (2) Viv Anderson (2) Weather (2) Where Are They Now (2) Wigan Athletic (2) World Cup Bid (2) Youth Team (2) #itk (1) 1994/95 (1) Access All Areas (1) Adam Larsen Kwarasay (1) Africa Cup of Nation (1) Alan Hutton (1) Alan Pulido (1) Albert Adomah (1) Alex Baptiste (1) Alex Soares (1) Alexander Buttner (1) Alf Inge Haaland (1) Alfred Finnbogason (1) Algeria (1) Amadou Haidara (1) Andre Marriner (1) Andy Gray (1) Andy Lumley (1) Apostolos Vellios (1) Archie Gemmill (1) Australia (1) Ben Hamer (1) Big Screen Video (1) Billy Jones (1) Billy Kee (1) Billy McKay (1) Bobby Downes (1) Bogey Club (1) Bolo Zenden (1) Brentford (1) Brett Williams (1) Brian Eastick (1) Brian Woodall (1) Bryan Roy (1) Bungs (1) Callum McManaman (1) Callum Wilson (1) Capital One Cup (1) Captain (1) Carling Cup (1) Carlos Merino (1) Chairman (1) Channel 5 (1) Charles N'Zogbia (1) Charles Sale (1) Che Adams (1) Chris Baird (1) Chris Fairclough (1) Chris Martin (1) Chris O'Grady (1) Chris Riggott (1) Christian Bolanos (1) Christian Edwards (1) Christophe Berra (1) Clint Hill (1) Colin Cooper (1) Commercial (1) Cyrus Christie (1) Dale Roberts (1) Dan Westwell (1) Daniel Ayala (1) Daniel Pinillos (1) Danny Graham (1) Danny Guthrie (1) Danny Ings (1) Darren Huckerby (1) Dave Beasant (1) David Campbell (1) David Johnson (1) David Jones (1) David Norris (1) David Phillips (1) David Prutton (1) David Tarka (1) Diego Poyet (1) Ebby (1) Erik Huseklepp (1) Eugene Dadi (1) Fabio Borini (1) Fabio Capello (1) Fabio Sturgeon (1) Facebook (1) Federico Macheda (1) Floyd Ayite (1) Football Manager (1) Football for Sale (1) Football in General (1) Forest World (1) Forest008 (1) Forest24-7 (1) Former Players (1) Frank Gray (1) Frank Moussa (1) Fulham (1) Gabriel Tamas (1) Gareth Edds (1) Gareth Williams (1) Gary Crosby (1) Gary Megson (1) Germany (1) Giles Barnes (1) Glenn Murray (1) Harry Maguire (1) Harry Winks (1) Hibernian (1) History (1) Hoofball (1) Ian Woan (1) Ian Wright (1) Iraq (1) Irving Scholar et al (1) Ismael Bouzid (1) It's a Corner It's a Corner (1) Italia 90 (1) Jack Cork (1) James Coppinger (1) James McFadden (1) James Tavernier (1) James Wilson (1) Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (1) Jesse Lingard (1) Jim Brennan (1) Jinty Canenepeel (1) Joe Worrall (1) John Akinde (1) John Fleck (1) John Giudetti (1) John Robertson (1) Johnny Williams (1) Jon Taylor (1) Jordan Fairclough (1) Jorge Grant (1) Junior Agogo (1) Kane Ferdinand (1) Karim Al Almahi (1) Karl Robinson (1) Karlton Watson (1) Keith Burt (1) Keith Treacy (1) Kev Finnegan (1) Kevin MacDonald (1) Kevin Phillips (1) Kieren Westwood (1) Kingsley Black (1) Kris Commons (1) Lars Bohinen (1) League Cup (1) Lee Cattermole (1) Lee Wallace (1) Leon Clarke (1) Liam Bridcutt (1) Liam Lawrence (1) Libertine (1) Libor Kozak (1) Lies (1) Luca Bittante (1) Luke Ayling (1) Luke Varney (1) Mahmoud Hassan (1) Manager (1) Manager of the Month (1) Manchester United (1) Marco Pascolo (1) Marian Kello (1) Mark Robins (1) Martyn Woolford (1) Match Talk (1) Matt Mills (1) Matthieu Louis Jean (1) Matty Cash (1) Max Gradel (1) Michael Dawson (1) Michael Doughty (1) Michael Owen (1) Mikele Leigertwood (1) Morgan Ferrier (1) Nagash (1) Natalie Jackson (1) Ned Kelly (1) Neil Warnock (1) Nelson Oliveria (1) New Season (1) Nicklas Bendtner (1) Nicky Maynard (1) Nicolao Dumitru (1) Nikica Jelavic (1) Nikola Jerkan (1) Nikola Vukcevic (1) Njaal Helle (1) Norwich City (1) Oldham (1) Owen Garvan (1) Pascal Formann (1) Paul Gerrard (1) Paul Ince (1) Paul Smith (1) Paul Tisdale (1) Pedro Pereira (1) Peter Crouch (1) Philipp Zulechner (1) Phillipe Montanier (1) Pierre van Hooijdonk (1) Pink Coat (1) Playoffs (1) Poll (1) Predictions (1) Psycho (1) Referee (1) Riccardo Scimeca (1) Richard Foster (1) Richard Irving (1) Richard O'Donnell (1) Ronald Vargas (1) Ross Gardner (1) Ryan Christie (1) Sandro Rosell (1) Scott Sinclair (1) Sean Dyche (1) Sebastian Larsson (1) Shane Long (1) Shaun Wright-Phillips (1) Shay Given (1) Song (1) Sonny Bradley (1) Southampton (1) Sponsorship (1) Stan Collymore (1) Stephen Quinn (1) Stern John (1) Steve Chettle (1) Steven Dobbie (1) Stuart Armstrong (1) Stuart O'Keefe (1) Stuttgart (1) Summer (1) Support (1) Suso (1) Sylvain Ebanks-Blake (1) TV (1) Teddy Sheringham (1) The Championship (1) The F.A (1) Thierry Bonalair (1) Thomas Ince (1) Toddy Orlygsson (1) Tom Heaton (1) Tomas Diaz Navarette (1) Tommy Lee (1) Top of the League (1) Tottenham Hotspurs (1) Toze (1) Trevor Francis (1) Trickie Trees (1) USA (1) Union Berlin (1) Views from the Away End (1) Wales (1) Wallpaer (1) Wallpaper (1) Walsall (1) Wayne Routledge (1) Wilfried Zaha (1) Will Buckley (1) Wycombe Wanderers (1) Zach Clough (1) birthdays (1) the Sisco Kid (1)

Infolinks in Text Ads