The atmosphere in and around the City Ground was reminiscent of the Clough years. Something that Stuart Pearce knows all about. The return of Psycho had me wondering, how would he play it, formation wise?
Having watched us play one up front for the whole of last season, it was sheer relief to see a 4-4-2 line up.
The player selection was unexpected too, Danny Fox at centre-half and a return to midfield for skipper, Chris Cohen. There were also debuts to no less than six players.
Forest attacked from the off, understandable given the standard of our opposition. Blackpool were there for the taking and Pearce moved offensively.
New boy Antionio had Forest’s first chance on seven minutes, heading wide from Chris Burkes cross. Assombalonga came close just a minute later and so too did Fryatt. Despite all the early dominance Blackpool should have taken the lead on 19 minutes.
A lofted free kick found Delfouneso unmarked at the back post, luckily for Forest he blew his chance.
The new boys were settling in nicely, but it was the old guard pulling the strings in midfield. Reid and Cohen were bossing the game and Reid created the opening goal of the game after 24 minutes.
He curled a 25 yarder against the post, leaving Michail Antonio with a tap in, to make it 1-0.
Forest doubled their lead just five minutes later when Chris Burke also capped his debut with an amazing 30 yard screamer!
The Reds continued to attack thanks to a number of inch perfect, long range balls from Danny Fox.
Anytime Blackpool ventured forward they were neatly disposed by Mancienne who looked very comfortable in defence.
Forest went in 2-0 up at the break and that’s how it stayed until full-time. The second-half proving to be a non-event despite Blackpool having the better chances.
There were impressive performances from Delfouneso, Perkins, Lundstram and local lad Jacob Mellis.
Despite not getting on the score sheet, Britt Assombalonga looked very classy, Hunt was awesome at right-back. Uncompromising and good going forward. Mancienne read the game very well indeed.
Burke was industrious without really beating his man, Fryatt showed lots of promise of what’s to come with more games under his belt. The jury’s still out on Antonio for me!
His first touch concerns me and for £2 million signing he looked clumsy at times. He is a through back to Justin Fashanu in every sense. Like Burke on the other wing, he failed to beat his man at all. He did take his goal well though.
The Forest supporters were waxing lyrical about Pearce and the new look formation. However, I am yet to be convinced. Blackpool are a patched up side and tougher tests are just around the corner.
Despite six new faces, it was the old boys who ran the show – Reid and Cohen. I just wonder that when the likes of Hobbs, Wilson and Lansbury are fit, will Psycho accommodate them?
So far so good, but let’s not get carried away.