Forest v Cherries

AFCB_Mark

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Well it's not been the best couple of weeks, two draws and a defeat have seen us slip to 4th whilst other results last night conspired against us.

We're struggling for central midfielders at the moment and it's unlikely Dan Gosling will be fit to take any part tonight. So it'll be stand-in MacDonald and the tired looking Surman there. Playing a 3 man central midfield would have been one option to stablise us but that's not possible, so 4-4-2 it is. Our main creative force Matt Ritchie looks out on his feet at the moment and I'd be happy to see him given a breather and young flying Scotsman Ryan Fraser given his place.

Forest have improved markedly under Dougie and have started scoring a lot of goals. I see they did manage a draw with Blackpool and a defeat to Millwall recently, perhaps it depends which Forest side turns up? Currently they are 'top of midtable' with that big gap from Wolves down. Are they building for next season or do they still have an outside hope for playoffs?

The City Ground is one of my favourite grounds and I've seen us draw a few times there. Seems likely that pattern will end with either a win or defeat tonight - I wonder which. Considering the issues we have just at the moment, it's going to take a heck of an effort from the players tonight I feel.
 

Dazza

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Got a feeling Forest might win this.Seem to have picked up since Freedman took charge.Will probably turn us over on Saturday with our poor recent home form.
 

Mr Elmo

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If McClaren saw that he'd probably faint at the sight of it.
 

AFCB_Mark

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Freedman played a master class really - Forest will do very well under his management.

A 7 man defence all game, conceding all territory and possession to us, knowing that if they packed the final 3rd with their monster defence towering over our attackers, they won't let us get behind being so deep and then they'll just swat away all the crosses that inevitably come in because the eye of the needle pass becomes impossible.

For the first 15 minutes we did well against this banked defence, we played with confidence and swagger - pulling them around the pitch really well. It was probably the best 15 minutes performance of our season!! And what a goal as well, goal of the season contended for the perfect start. I really though the top class Bournemouth were back.

However Forest hung in there were happy to break with pace and strength, playing longer balls up the pitch to Antonio who was too strong. And unlike Forest's defence whom the referee was happy to man-handle and rough-house our attackers all game, Antonio we couldn't touch without conceding set peices. Forest forced a string of 3 or 4 corners in a row, the last of which they inevitably won the second ball in our box and forced it home to qualise.

And then just as with Saturday, shortly before half time a free kick goes in to completely change the complexion of the game. Absolutely incredulous with the ref for giving a complete nonsense of a free kick to Lansbury 20 yards out, the bold headed prick! Lansbury as everyone knows is excellent at those situations, although Boruc will be upset at conceding a second free kick in two games. His recent performances make all the hype from Saints fans look rather silly.

Second half was 45 minutes, well no actually more like 30 minutes, of the same thing. We'd huff and puff, pass the ball around here and there, prod and probe but be unable to get in a telling cross. And on the two occasions when we did successfully find Pitman at the far post, his 50 pence piece head just put the ball in the stand rather than testing the keeper. I don't think the Forest keeper had an actual save to make second half, for all our play.

Forest always broke fairly well and could have snuck another - it was a carbon copy in many ways to Brentford at the weekend, and Forest probably should have done likewise with Brentford and got that 3rd goal with all the space on the break. They missed a couple keeping us in it, but again when we did have the chance towards the end with a bit of penalty area pinball - it was screwed up and not even put on target.

The second half was an appalling display of time wasting, as I say I think we only got half an hour of actual play. The 4 minutes added time was greeted with mass laughter from the away end - it had gotten beyond anger to pure farce. 4 minutes would account for all the subs, not added nothing on for all the pissing around from Forest players. Darlow probably had possession of the ball longer than any other Forest player, such was the time he took with every goal kick. Throw-ins became epic 3 minute discussions amongst Forest players and their bench. The referee never once visibly hurried anything up or did anything about it.

Of course every side does it, of course we have - but I think it's been some time if at all that I've seen anything like that second half.

To compound the evening, the journey home was appalling. The A road to the M1 was shut, so everyone was forced on a diversion tour of the Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire countryside in the dark with little clue where we were going. Then the M40 was shut for a section, with the diversion comically sending you back up the M40 the way you'd just come for 10 miles. When we did get back south then the A34 was shut and we had another lovely tour of Oxfordshire countryside. Journey from hell to top off a nasty evening.

Yours, Mr Angry.
 

PDS

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76% possession away from home yet we leave with 1 goal and 0 points. Madness.

At least the performance sounded better than Saturday, just some very, very shattered bodies out there in Bournemouth shirts lately, having Arter back with two games rest is going to be massive against Blackburn, we've missed his creativity, by far our most important play in my eyes. Surman-MacDonald was a disaster against Brentford, but we had no option but to persist with it last night.

Frustrating too because we actually did break Forest down early, to throw away yet more points from a winning position- against a team who exploited our set piece frailties once more is nothing short of infuriating. There was always the concern that when our goals dried up our shocking defending would come back to bite us, and it has against Huddersfield, Brentford and now Forest.

Ideally we could do with a week or twos rest, get players back fit and well-rest, not going to happen though, Blackburn in 3 days, a game I'm certain we'll lose on current form. Would happily see us go 5 in midfield and frustrate them... but we don't have enough fit midfielders for a start!
 

AFCB_Mark

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3 games in 7 days to come starting Satuday is going to push our players to the limit I feel. It'll be the making or breaking of them.

God I can't even type out a simple sentance this morning I'm so tired from last night.
 
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