FOREST BLOG: Fixtures out and SatNav ready!

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So the fixtures are out and it’s a long old trek down to Brighton and Hove Albion for the first match of the season.

Forest shirt on, money drawn out and the car loaded with fruit pastilles for the journey. Sorry what’s that? It’s not for seven weeks yet! Bugger!

That is the excitement that I feel towards the new football season now that the fixtures have been drawn and we know who we are playing and when.

It could be a good thing being drawn away first for a change, as it keeps that expectation level a little bit lower for a week or so longer.

Should we lose at Brighton – I hope we don’t – we will return to the City Ground for back-to-back games against Rotherham United and Charlton Athletic, which would represent a really good chance to post an early six points on the board.

It has always baffled me a little bit when players and managers state that they are happy to have a home game first.

Sure, you get a chance to get a win on the board on the first day, but very often if you play away first you get two home games immediately afterwards. Two is better than one right?

In hindsight, whilst it is exciting seeing the fixtures and planning those away days out, it really doesn’t matter who you play and when you play them, the fact will always be that you must play every team in the league at home and away anyway.

It is more exciting seeing which players will be taking to the pitch during the forthcoming games that gets the appetite going, and more work is needed in that department from Dougie and his team ahead of 8thAugust.

I have been impressed with his business so far and I don’t just mean with the incomings. The players he has managed to offload have been shrewd too.

Jamie Mackie’s departure divided opinion amongst Reds fans but I have to thrown my thoughts into the ring and say that I was happy to see him go.

Mackie is undoubtedly a workhorse but his end product has let him down throughout his career and on over £100,000 per-month in wages he simply had to go.

Is the ex-Reading loanee a better option that Michail Antonio, Chris Burke or Jamie Ward? You would be hard pushed to answer yes for all three in that competition.

The ex-Derby County man has joined the club on £10,000 per-week and I reserve no apologies when I say that Ward on 10 or Mackie on 25, is an absolute no-brainer.

I have no doubt that Mackie will already have the hearts of QPR fans due to his previous spell at Loftus Road, but in Forest’s current financial plight, the move was the right one for all parties and I wish him well.

The lad did talk of real fondness to sign for the club when he first signed at the City Ground and for that I can’t knock him – his attitude was spot on.

For now it’s back to refreshing the pages of NewsNow to see who else is linked with a move to the City Ground – or away from it - and frantically counting down until the big kick-off on 8th August. Now where did I put that SatNav?