Perfect Start

No doubt by now you’ll have read an official match report, maybe you even attended the game, like 23,000 odd other souls. But here we go anyway.

A win is a win, but with Forest who usually draws or lose the first game it’s a nice change and a nice start. To see a few new players bedded in the guise of Lichaj and Hobbs, with the rest of the side being more the “old guard” it was a pleasing performance.

We deserved to win, and although not convincingly by a larger number, we were still far far the better team, even if Huddersfield did have a good couple of efforts.

However, although it was good, there were a few worries. A Collins error later on could have let them in, these happen, but Collins does seem to be prone to one a game. Guedioura didn’t have his passing radar quite engaged and also lost possession a few times in dangerous positions. That and his usual hopelessly off target long range efforts were accustomed to.

The width provided by marauding full backs was good to see, and ultimately gave us the goal via Henri Lansbury. Lichaj gave a good account of himself after a few wayward early crosses. In fact Lichaj nearly scored when he drilled one across the area that started moving toward the goal.

You can also see how Mackie was well regarded by QPR, as he constantly chased and harassed for the ball. He has an excellent work ethic, and even when he was rotated position wise he looked bright. Derbyshire who was one of the pre game talking points didn’t do a lot wrong, but then he didn’t have too many chances to do a lot right. Cox who swapped with Mackie in the slightly withdrawn trequartista role, could have had a couple of chances, but he wasn’t there to play as a striker.

The game was also interesting as it featured the return of one Ishmael Miller to a red shirt. Someone who I remember as being a powerful striker like a Lukaku or Moses now seems more like a comedy Adebola. Just didn’t seem mobile, often failing to quite control the ball. Whereas Henderson when he came on looked very lively. Paterson also made his bow in a Forest shirt, and made a couple of attempts at mazy runs.

All in all I can’t complain about Saturday, True enough I heard people mumbling throughout the game, but these are more the type who has seen us splash the cash and are expecting miracles or amazing performances week in, week out.

For me the interesting factor was despite all the guess work and conjecture, we didn’t in fact play wide, with more a narrow diamond in the midfield. At times it didn’t always work but we clearly remember it did last year. And ultimately it did here by drawing their full backs forward and allowing us to get round the back. Lansbury ghosting in at the back post a free man was criminal defending almost. Their whole back line being drawn across to Cohen and leaving the free man at the back stick.

Whether we start to move to a new wide man system as Paterson beds in and Abdoun receives his clearance I can only guess, but the fact we have put some serious money into those positions suggests we will.

I expect heavy rotation in the Hartlepool League Cup game,