BLOG: I resent that toothless Forest performance at Derby

Derby County vs Nottingham Forest - Nottingham Forest Head Coach Mark Warburton - Pic By James Williamson
Derby County vs Nottingham Forest - Nottingham Forest Head Coach Mark Warburton - Pic By James Williamson

For the second time in 12 months I left the I Pro stadium with a feeling of resentment towards the Forest players.

You might say that sounds a little harsh, but I didn’t witness an ounce of fight in the final 45 minutes.

Despite conceding after just 24 seconds, I was impressed by the first half performance, especially from Eric Lichaj, who was handed a shock recall.

Had Barry McKay have scored from either of his chances, maybe things would have been different.

But, the “fine margins” cliché is wearing a little thin.

The Scotsman should have buried his one on one with Scott Carson, and the Reds should have been at least on level terms at the break.

I’m not going to waste time talking about philosophies or formations, because in any derby game, it’s all about who wants it more.

Arsene Wenger used to despise the number of London derbies that his side had to encounter; simply because tactics were more often than not, replaced by tenacity.

Interestingly, the build up to Derby County v Nottingham Forest certainly suggested that Mark Warburton’s men were the favourites, and rightly so, because the current Derby side are one of the worst in their recent history.

The majority of Derby supporters I spoke to before the game, said that they weren’t very confident of a victory against their old foes.

However, the Rams always seem to raise their game for the visit of Forest, which should be standard behaviour for us too.

But this particular match, like the 3-0 defeat last season, and the woeful 5-0 reverse in 2014, was embarrassing at times.

The Championship isn’t the classiest division in the world; therefore, if you’re prepared to compete with your opposition, you’ll not be too far away, especially against the mid table sides.

But I witnessed very little fight, determination or endeavour during the second half at the I Pro on Sunday.

It should come naturally to any side when they’re trailing against their arch enemies.

The shame of that alone should be enough to galvanise sides into demanding a comeback of sorts.

Both of Derby’s goals were avoidable when you analyse them; you cannot be that far away from an opponent, giving him that much space, in a game of such magnitude.

On both occasions, at least one of the defenders could have committed himself to a challenge, because there were colleagues to pick up the pieces.

A former manager of mine used to say: “If you give poor players too much space, even they will look dangerous.”

That pretty much summed up the game for me on Sunday.

Before I go into complete meltdown, I have said, like many others, that we are a club in transition.

And, yes it will take time; one, maybe two transfer windows?

Mark Warburton provided his own excellent analogy regarding the job ahead for his Forest side; comparing it to that of a turning tanker.

But until port becomes starboard, certain facets of our play cannot be allowed to continue.

Any side that continues to ship almost two goals per game will inevitably plummet down the table before the New Year arrives.

Ironically, Burton Albion, who are the Reds next opponents, have only conceded two more than Forest.

For the record, they are in the bottom three and just five points behind us.

After such a toothless performance away at Derby, I’m looking for a reaction from the Forest players this coming Saturday.

It’s something that I rarely ever say, but they owe every one us of that made the trip down the A52 last week.