Will Nottingham Forest turn up on Saturday? Will they beat Norwich City? Will Britt Assombalonga be returned to the starting line-up? Unfortunately, Roman Filipowicz doesn’t have the answers
It would be a brave or foolish person who would predict the outcome of Nottingham Forest’s next match – against Norwich City – as there’s no telling what the reaction to the Reds’ morale-sapping defeat against Brentford might be. Results like that one can either force teams and players further into their shells, or drive them on to put things right. Quite which will happen remains to be seen.
Forest will be coming up against a Norwich City side enduring their own (though less severe) slump in form. The recent victory over Bolton is their only one in their previous seven league games and last time out they were given a fearful thumping, 4-0 away at Middlesbrough. So it’s probably fair to say that neither set of players will be brimming with confidence.
Poor form aside though, Norwich definitely possess the weapons to punish a wobbly Forest defence, with the likes of Cameron Jerome, Wes Hoolahan, Nathan Redmond and Alexander Tettey all capable of causing mischief. Indeed, looking through the Norwich squad list one struggles to understand how they’re in such a poor run. Still, one could also say the same about Forest. That’s the Championship for you.
Hopefully, Stuart Pearce will restore Britt Assombalonga to the starting line-up and Michael Mancienne to the centre of defence, as neither of his midweek experiments brought any joy. Michail Antonio played well, but only when he was restored to his usual berth out wide. Whoever he picks though, he needs to make sure they start the game with more intensity. For the last few matches the team has started far too slowly, and picking up the pace when the game is already beyond reach just won’t cut the mustard.
Looking at all the evidence, it’s hard to see how Forest can win this one. Still, football is never as cut and dried as that. Whatever the result, the lads need to at least give us a performance and, as much as possible, cut out the individual errors. If they can do that then we’ll be on the right track to recovery.