Ahead of Saturday’s game at the Amex Stadium, Sam from The Seagull Love Review tells us what to expect from the home side…
What has changed since last season?
It’s unlikely you’ll play a team this season who’ve seen such a massive change over the summer. Firstly, we’re playing in the Championship, which is great fun — you guys know what it’s like to be in League One when you really don’t want to be. Then there are some great new players who’ve cost us a fair bit, to the extent that we smashed our transfer record twice in a month. The biggest change is our home though as we’re finally in our fantastic new stadium after nearly 15 years of blood, sweat, tears and, umm, Withdean. So, to surmise, this has been the biggest period of change in the club’s 110-year history.
How has the season been so far?
It’s been an odd one. We started really well and were top for three weeks in September, then we maybe ran out of steam and went on a winless run of nine games. Because of our early season form we’re still only a win off the play-offs but, to be fair, we haven’t really played that well this season — we haven’t clicked quite as beautifully as last term — so as fans we’re all a bit disoriented. What Albion team will turn up on Saturday, I honestly can’t predict.
What can we expect tactically?
We play a continental style of passing, possession-based football where we knock it about and wear the opposition down. Swansea play the same way, if you need an example; just imagine a boring Barcelona. Anyway, it’s nice to watch and we’ve won lots of plaudits because of our consistent approach to playing atypical tactics, even if we lose. If we play long-ball we collapse.
Who are the key players to watch out for?
Craig Noone is our most consistent offensive threat this season, he’s a nippy winger who takes on players and creates chances. There’s also our rookie centre-back Lewis Dunk who has come through the youth system and recently made the England U21 squad. We’re also big fans of our holding midfielder Liam Bridcutt who we got off Chelsea last year; he tends to pull the strings. Those three are all young lads with no Championship experience but have all done really well so we have high hopes.
What should Forest fans look out for at the Amex Stadium?
Well, be aware of the transport limitations, so get to the ground as early as possible on the trains from town — they get fantastically busy and you can’t walk there so don’t take any chances. Inside the away end they will put on some red lights and project some warming images of Forest heroes of old. There should also be a Notts brew on sale but try our local ale Harvey’s — it’s brewed with Sussex water and will make you strong! The real reason to get to the ground early is to try our pies; they are the best pies in football, locally made with no rubbish. They will sell out though so don’t mess about. Apart from that, don’t forget to buy a fanzine from us, have a flick through our cheerleaders’ new calendar in the club shop and, above all, make lots of noise.
What’s going to happen on Saturday?
Our home record against clubs in a similar position to yours suggests a home win with you guys never really getting any flow going. But this is Brighton & Hove Albion so who knows? Forest have a good record against us in recent years in Brighton and I’m sure Joel Lynch will want to make a good impression… he’s Brighton through and through so will probably score the winner for you.
Follow The Seagull Love Review on Twitter: @tslr