With two defeats on the trot, Nottingham Forest stayed in ninth position and, despite form, still sit only four points outside the top six. Stuart Briggs offers a fan’s eye view from the City Ground.
Having beaten Wolves last Saturday, expectations were suitably readjusted after Tuesday’s defeat at Ipswich — Forest are not world-beaters and are similarly not the finished article. And the match against Hull was one I dreaded given we’ve a bad recent record against Hull and it’s always a drab affair.
Sean O’Driscoll played five in midfield to match Steve Bruce’s favoured 3-5-2 formation. Personally, I’d prefer Forest to be more assertive at home and let the opposition worry about us, rather than the other way round.
The first-half occasionally broke into a football match with Hull’s midfield five showing more composure than our own. A mistake by Alan Hutton led to a chance that was cleared off the line by Elliot Ward, then a man in a yellow shirt, who was doing his best impression of a referee, gave a penalty against Simon Gillett for an apparent foul in the box.
Having felt aggrieved, it didn’t take long for the referee to give an equally dubious penalty to Forest. Billy Sharp, adjudged to have been fouled, scored the resulting penalty with a conviction sadly lacking elsewhere in the first-half.
The beginning of the second-half began with both teams playing end-to-end football lacking in guile and quality. Then something odd happened — a Danny Collins mistake led to a corner, which Paul McShane supposedly bundled in with his hand. It was typical of the set-piece defending which Forest have shown recently but the reaction of Sharp and Lee Camp suggest it may have been an unjust winner to a rather average Forest display.
Unlike previous years, the people I sit near seemed frustrated rather than upset that we didn’t win two European cups in the first half as they usually do. This will probably be the issue this year when we get a surprise win and then lose games we expect to win.
I still think we’ve got a decent run in us and a late charge for the play-offs is realistic — we’ve got enough quality in the squad but finding consistency is going to be the key. If you remember, about this time last year we lost 4-0 to Leeds at home. Things could be worse.
Follow Stuart on Twitter: @stuartbenjaminb
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