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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Forest Continue To Grind Out Draws To Keep Playoff Push Alive

So my ultimate plan of what we needed with 10 games left of 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats is out the window. We now have 3 draws in that time. That’s fine because the playoff chase is not following any rules this season.


In normal circumstances drawing 3 in a row after sneaking into the playoffs including 2 home games would and should seen us drop out of the playoffs. Such is the constant tripping over of each other in this race, we actually look in a stronger position than before we got into 5th place.

The Brighton game always looked dangerous and Turf Moor is a place we never had much luck at. Blackpool was a team with a psychological hold over us. And so it came to pass. Blackpool although never really the better team despite whatever delusions Paul Ince tries to pass off as reality had the lead and forced us to break them down slowly. Ultimately it was another penalty when it came.

We seem to be getting that stroke of luck with late penalties at the moment salvaging us a point here and there, and how vital will they be come the end of the season? Potentially we will rely on them. And of course Lewis McGugan netting again, where 4 strikers on the pitch once again toiled to no avail.

A word on Blackpool though, they have capable players and extremely dangerous wingers (though Pauls, valuations of son Tom Ince’s value looked laughable on the strength of this game). That said the way the embarrassingly tried to waste time at all junctures after taking their lead was almost embarrassing. How their keeper wasn’t booked is beyond me, but we can forgive the ref as he gave us the penalty (albeit stonewall) and sent off briefly ex Red Isaiah Osborne for a rash tackle. Again Ince’s delusions came out where he claimed it was never a red, even though he was late, high and with legs up. Ince’s quotes mentions it wasn’t a red as they were on top. How does this work Paul? How is a red card offence not a red because which team has an upper hand? Even that negates the fact they clearly didn’t. Blackpool had around 2 shots all game, one a goal, the other hit the bar. In Paul Ince world that’s dominating a game. Maybe he was convincing the thousands at home this was the case, as Blackpool’s away support was for a team who have been top flight in the recent past miniscule.

For me this was a game where the midfield had a lot of the ball with no real end product. Reid’s passing deserted him, Majewski was quieter than usual. Guedioura at times was hit and miss some wonderful passing but then some ill advised attempts at dribbling in bad positions. The defence looked fairly firm, except when Matt Phillips had a couple of pacey mazy runs where he really challenged them, and it bothers me this misguided cries from the crowd of tackle him. You try and jump in that stage and you get passed, or you take him out and get booked. Jockeying for the right time to put your foot in is completely the right thing to do. But fans want you to jump in with a sliding tackle to win in spectacular fashion. You cannot touch especially from behind a player like Ince or Phillips in full flow, they will go down.

It was kind of depressing to see a familiar type of conceded goal that Blackpool scored. The midfielder with that extra yard or so of space to net with aplomb. I’d say it was a good goal, but we have seen a few guys do exactly the same goal. Liam Trotter for Millwall springs to mind. The defence sit off giving him the space to set his body to shoot without closing down. You’d think we’d learn by now but evidently not.

But my mind is split. On the hand the wins have temporarily dried up, just as we come up to a very tricky away day to Cardiff, (that said we do well down there) but on the other hand, these are games we could easily have lost, and have gained 3 points at the death from nothing. That same 3 points is currently our buffer for being in the playoffs. That connection has to be made. Additionally we have extended our unbeaten run now, and that can only be a good thing. If we are to fail to win, points at this stage add up, as shown by the last 3. If we did get a draw at Cardiff, which will go a long to helping us, we would definitely remain in the playoffs for another week, and all the psychological benefits of that, we’d have gotten over our biggest hurdle in the run in

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