The cause for concern over Forest’s recent form has gone global, as far as New Zealand in fact.
I received a string of e mails this week from ex-pat Ian Jones, who was desperate to find out what on earth has happened to the Tricky Trees?
So it was clear to all concerned that last week’s visit of Norwich City was a must win affair.
Both sides were on poor runs and something had to give.
Forest reverted to a 4-4-2 system whilst the Canaries went with a 3-5-2.
Despite the terrible run of form from both clubs there was a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium and the home side started brightly.
Antonio brought a booking out of Martin before setting up Ince for a close effort early on.
However, it was City who went ahead with their first attack.
Some neat one touch play was skilfully capped off by Johnny Howson’s 15th minute strike. He jinked left and right before slotting home in the bottom right hand corner. Lascelles gave him far too much room and the confidence of the whole team was quashed once again.
Norwich should have been two up after 26 minutes when Lewis Grabban headed wide from five yards out, despite being unmarked.
Neither side really impressed for the remainder of the half but the forest faithful continued to get behind their team with pride.
In stark contrast, Neil Adams should be ashamed of his actions. He persistently time wasted by grabbing the match ball away from the home players, it seems he has instilled these silly tactics into his playing squad too.
I don’t like this guy, he talks like he’s some big timer but when all’s said and done he’s a former youth coach who was a very average player in his day.
The second half saw Jamie Paterson on for Ince and once again he proved that he should be in the starting line up every week. Why we signed Ince baffles me!
There was a lot of long ball again and it was a patchy game that showed why both teams are struggling.
The positive thing was the spirit and fight that the players showed despite being behind again.
The fans as I mentioned before were amazing and proudly chanted the famous ‘Psycho’ chorus time after time.
Bradley Johnson impressed me for City and Ben Osborn was running the show for Forest, Matty Fryatt wasn’t far behind him. It was indeed Fryatt that crossed for Britt Assombalonga to slide home the equaliser after 84 minutes following some tricky footwork on the right flank.
Assombalonga should have scored again just a minute later but opted to check inside rather than shooting after going clean through.
Both sides had their chances, Grabban forced Darlow into a cracking save at his near post.
It was a fantastic counter attack that won this game deep into stoppage time, though, starting with Paterson’s fantastic 50 yard ball to Assombalonga.
He controlled well and neatly set up Antonio, who powered into the box before beating Ruddy with a low shot into the bottom right hand corner.
The crowd exploded with noise and unfortunately the moment of the match went unnoticed by almost everyone in the stadium as Norwich took their final corner.
The ball rolled the edge of the area where Johnson smashed an absolute bullet of a shot goalwards, only to be blocked by the flying torso of Assombalonga, who deflected the rocket high into the stands.
The full time whistle blew immediately and the sheer ecstasy of victory seemed to overshadow the heroics of the boy call Britt.
Despite this vital win, I am very concerned about our style of play.
Having watched Brentford and Bournemouth ping it around like Barcelona, Forest under Pearce are playing too much long ball and are changing systems far too often. We have a far superior playing squad to most teams in this division
But the football is far from flowing. Psycho is my favourite player of all time but I have serious doubts about him as a gaffer.