Jake Brown’s Blog: Forest’s character will be tested in grudge match

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YOU’RE almost guaranteed another dose of controversy and drama this coming Sunday.

Our fierce rivals Derby make the short trip along Brian Clough way to the City Ground for what promises to be a feisty Sunday afternoon in an occasion that rarely disappoints.

Last season they did the double over us. A feisty match at the City Ground ending in a 2-1 reverse, and a 1-0 last gasp winner at Pride Park through Jake Buxton in a game that had a dull draw written all over it - a game in which both sides looked extremely below par.

The last three occasions at the City Ground have all had drama early on, with goals in the first 10 minutes of each, all of them going Forests way.

We start well against our biggest rivals, a trait that has certainly not been apparent in the last three games, picking up two out of a possible nine points.

Bad starts have cost us dearly recently, all of a sudden conceding goals you couldn’t have envisaged us doing a few weeks prior.

The defence needs time and with that the fans need to show patience. A back four thrown together as quickly as two weeks, then expected to go and play and more importantly gel as a unit, is a big ask.

Games come quick and fast in this league as we enter the Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday phase of the season. We will improve and be organised I’m sure.

Ball retention will certainly be on the managers mind this week, as we have seen in recent weeks it has become a slight issue. Shame on them for teasing us with the Charlton performance, before that we hadn’t seen it that good for what seems a long while.

We now have a week before the big game on Sunday. More time for the squad to gel, and Sean O’Driscoll will I’m sure have plenty to work on. It is also indeed more time for Henri Lansbury to get more valuable fitness time, a promising performance coming on at Elland Road this past weekend gives us hope we will see our new midfielder feature against the Rams.

Apart from Sam Hutchinson’s knee injury, whom is expected back in training this week, no injury doubts have been reported as the manager faces another selection headache. Let’s hope Sean gets this one bang on the button.

The game on Sunday will be a totally different encounter to the previous three games though, it will be a in-your-face, noisy, outright battle.

Yet again the character and grit of our side will be ultimately tested I’m sure.

Get another good start against the Rams and it will settle us down, eradicating any pressure heaped upon us by the now expectant City Ground crowd.

This game, at this time, and three points, may just be the kick up the backside we need to get going again. So let’s get behind the lads once more as they aim to plot much needed revenge on Nigel Clough’s men.