“If I saw him [Clough] on the other side of the road, I would look the other way, but when that whistle goes on a Saturday, I’d die for him,” a quote to Warnock by former Forest player Willie Carlin. “That’s what I want from my lads,” replies Warnock.
Welcome back Warno-brothers. Our Nottingham Forest side have really hit form in Division 2 as Niall Warnock finds himself chasing automatic promotion already.
Here’s a reminder of our formation – for those who like to see/replicate those. It comes courtesy of @CM9798Nikolai on twitter.
Seagraves [btw] is a newly-recruited regen AMC who could be Andy Hessenthaler, but may not be…
A trip to Adams Park and Wycombe could have been undone by a first minute sending off by our captain Kirk Sorvel. Mabbutt junior and George Ndah help us see out the potential banana skin.
Our cup specialist Van Hooijdonk chips in with two league goals, as Roots Hall is dug up in style. Its another red – this time central defender McGreal – and suspension we’ll have to navigate.
We qualify from the Windscreen Shied groups with a routine win at Exeter City, thanks mainly to another early red card. Our cup specialist popping up with a goal, as always.
Our winning streak is ended by a resilient Plymouth Argyle at the City Ground. Am I alone in never begrudging my own club a result? Just me, then!
A dent to the confidence perhaps, as the lads go to a hostile Senegal Fields and concede late to lose and drop points again. At least the fans won’t get mugged on the train home.
Our dip in form continues as the ten men of Brighton battle back from a goal down to draw. The only positive is a goal from Nigel Clough junior.
The lads are back with a bang as we score six at Swansea. Another red card the turning point. [five reds in last seven games if anyone is counting].
We only had a brief blip in form, but I decide to mix up the formation again to the traditional narrow 4-1-1-2-2. It means my full backs are back in natural positions and gives Haworth a run in his preferred position.
It gives us our first clean sheet in six games as Swindon are swatted asside at the County Ground. Paul Wanless – currently occupying central midfield – was a £100k signing from Barnsley.
Perhaps spoke too soon about clean sheets. The lads, 3-0 down at halftime to Pompey, battle back to win 4-3. What a turn-around! I’m (real life) buzzing with that one! New boy Wanless scoring again.
Pompey had scored three from four shots on target in the first half. Our battling spirit shone through.
A solitary Van Hooijdonk goal is enough to derail the Orient Express.
I celebrate by signing Scotsman David Hopkin from Leeds for £150k. Hopkin will play in an advanced position alongside Clough Junior. He has always been a good signing for me on this game and will add set piece sparkle to the team.
Hopkin’s debut lasts 37 minutes but the lads comfortably see off Colchester.
The win see’s us move to the top of the table for the first time this season, and nearly at the halfway stage.
The lads, buoyed by the rise to the summit see off Hull.
A red card for ‘Big Nev’ Mardon gives third-placed Bristol Rovers a win. I don’t keep goalkeepers on the bench when you can only pick three players, so try to see the game out keeperless. It doesn’t work out this time.
Despite the loss, we retain top spot and hold a ten-point advantage over Bristol.
Join us next week, as we play though another twelve games and start to navigate the FA Cup and Windscreen Shield. Until next time, Colin.