August 31 1999

Platt Blasts Bank Holiday Fixture Madness: David Platt has today blasted the Nationwide League's fixture planners after losing the heart of his midfield for yesterday's clash at Maine Road.

He described the Bank Holiday double header as 'ridiculous' after losing both Carlton Palmer and Nigel Quashie to injuries picked up in Saturday's clash with QPR. Andy Johnson, Chris Bart-Williams and Platt himself are already out injured. Johnson has started light training and Platt is still about two weeks away from playing, Chris Bart-Williams however is still some seven to eight weeks away from fitness after tearing a thigh muscle in the away match at Mansfield Town.

Palmer aggravated a knee injury and Quashie pulled a thigh muscle and with only Sunday available between matches neither player was able to receive treatment in time for yesterday's match.

The injuries to both players are not too serious and one or both of them should be available for this Saturday's match against Walsall.

August 30 1999

Forest Lose At City: Ian Wright couldn't save Forest today as they went down 1-0 to a battling Manchester City. See the fixtures list for a full match report.

August 28 1999

Wright Scores on his debut: Ian Wright was the main talking point pre-match in the pub and he didn't disappoint. He looked sharp and quick and showed no adverse effects to his recent layoff due to injury and suspension. Having scored on his debut for all his previous clubs it was on the cards that he would do the same today. On 31 minutes Scimeca picked the ball up in his own half and ran straight for the Q.P.R. area. He played a neat one-two with Freedman which split the defence wide open, then slipped the ball through to Wright who just doesn't miss golden chances like that. 1-0 to Forest.

On 44 minutes  defender Jermaine Darlington handled a shot from Wright to keep the ball from going in for the second goal. The rebound did go in but the Ref had already blown for the penalty. The Ref was left with no choice but to send Darlington off. Wright stepped up to take the penalty and sent Miklosko the wrong way, unfortunately he hit the left hand upright and the ball came straight back out. Freedman managed to get his head to the rebound but fired wide.

The second half saw Q.P.R. regroup and play with 10 men behind the ball. Forest had a couple of chances early on which resulted in a good save from Miklosko. Forest were dominant for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but it was Q.P.R., down to 10 men, who made the next move with a quick break away seeing them three against three in the Forest area and after a good save from Crossley it was a bleached blonde Ready who managed to scuff in the equalizer.

Q.P.R. now had their tails up and it was Forest who were having to defend. Once the storm had been ridden out though Forest managed to get back on top of the game and put the Q.P.R. defence under pressure for the last 10 minutes of the game. It wasn't to be though and Forest watched two points slip through their grasp as the ref blew the final whistle.

August 27 1999

Platt Makes Wright Move: David Platt caught everyone by surprise this morning when he announced the inspirational signing of West Ham striker Ian Wright on a months loan.

The Striker, who has also played for Arsenal and Crystal Palace moved to the Hammers last season in a £750,000 deal. He has moved down the pecking order since the most recent arrival of Paulo Wanchope from Derby. He now finds himself behind Paul Kitson, Paolo DiCanio and Paulo Wanchope in the selection stakes.

Wright and Platt know each other well after playing together for three years at Arsenal and they have also been in the England Squad together.

The loan deal is for one month initially and Forest have an option to make it three months. Speaking on local radio only a few moments ago Ian Wright told reporters that he would be happy to make the deal for the whole season if it meant he was getting first team football. He also went on to say that he does not consider moving to Forest as a downward step in his career.

Wright will make his first appearance in a Forest shirt in tomorrow's City Ground clash with Q.P.R. Get there early and expect to see a couple of thousand extra bums on seats for what would have otherwise been just another Nationwide League game. 

Bartman; News Is Bad: Chris Bart-Williams has received the result of his scan. As originally feared the news is bad; he has torn his calf muscle and will be out for some time.

It is not known exactly how long he will be sidelined, early estimates put the layoff at around one month. However, the delay could grow somewhat depending on how the injury heals early on in the recovery process.

Crossley Called Up: Mark Crossley has been called up by Wales for their latest round of Euro2000 qualifiers. Crossley will miss next weeks home game against Walsall, he will hand over the 'keeper's' shirt to Dave Beasant while he is away.

August 26 1999

Forest Legend Called Up: Forest legend Stuart 'Psycho' Pearce has been called up for the England squad at the ripe old age of 37.

Pearce is currently playing (very well) for West Ham after being told by Ruud 'trust me, I know what I'm doing' Gullitt told him his services were no longer required at Newcastle.

Youngsters To Get Long Term Contracts: Two products of Forest's youth system, Chris Doig and Kevin Dawson are set to sign long term contracts after impressing David Platt so far this season. 

Both the teenagers have figured in Platt's plans so far this campaign and  Doig recently made his mark at first team level. He was a sub for last Friday's 1-1 draw with West Brom but didn't make an appearance. He did, however, come off the bench in the second half of  Tuesday's Worthington Cup first round, second leg defeat at Mansfield.

Doig, an 18 year old Scot, made his first team debut last season while still a trainee. He is regarded by those in the know as one of the club's brightest prospects. 

The same also applies to Kevin Dawson who is Forest's current 'Young Player of the Year'. He has not yet figured in any first team action but has managed to catch Platt's eye with some excellent displays in the reserves and during pre-season.

Crossley's Testimonial Season Starts: It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it, so last night Stanno, myself and Steve Ralling, along with our partners attended a dinner dance at the East Midlands Conference Center on the Nottingham University Campus. The event marked the closure of Steve Chettle's testimonial year and the start of Mark Crossley's.

Mark has been with the club for 11 years now. There are several events already lined up for his testimonial year, including a Golf day at Springwater Golf Club, a comedy night at Jongleurs and of course the testimonial game itself at the end of the season, though Mark has yet to sort out who the opponents will be. We will bring you further news of the events as they are announced.

One of the highlights of the evening saw Steve Chettle's collection of signed shirts, most taken from last seasons Premiership campaign, auctioned off. Steve Ralling was bidding furiously for Alan Shearer's shirt (for his girlfriend, she's a Geordie) but his nerve went when the bidding passed £350, it eventually went for £480. Other 'bargains' included Michael Owen's shirt (the very one he wore when he put four past us in the 5-1 defeat) which went for £500, Des Walker's shirt which went for £300. Other shirts in the auction included Ian Wright's West Ham away shirt, Roy Keane's shirt, David Seaman's shirt and a Chelsea shirt signed by the whole squad. But the highlight was Eric Cantona's shirt which saw furious bidding take the price right up to £1050.

August 25 1999

Bartman Crocked: Chris Bart-Williams is facing at least three weeks out of the team after picking up a suspected torn thigh muscle.

Bart-Williams is expected to have a scan today, and if early indications are right and it proves to be a torn muscle he could be out for a month or more.

August 24 1999

Crap!: Forest gave Mansfield Town their first goal and first win of the season this evening in this dire game. Taking nothing away from Mansfield's hard work and determination (they definitely wanted something from the game), but Forest were at best, very poor. A night I will not be remembering for very long.

Even worse was the fact that Chris Bart-Williams was carried off, obviously in some pain, during the second half. We don't know how serious it is yet, but with Andy Johnson still recovering from his Achilles operation, Carlton Palmer nursing a knee injury, and David Platt still suffering from the groin strain he picked up in pre-season the midfield is looking worryingly thin for this weekends fixtures against Q.P.R. (h) and Manchester City (a).

The final score was 1-0 to the Stags, but Forest go through to the next round with a 3-1 aggregate win. 

Stag Night Part 2: Forest go to Field Mill tonight for the second leg of their Worthington Cup first round match.

Early indications are that David Platt plans to rest a lot of the first team for tonight's game. The three Italians and Dougie Freedman are definitely not playing and Carlton Palmer is suffering with a slight knee injury which should see him being rested in preparation for this bank holiday weekend's fixtures.

Forest are currently sitting on a 3-0 lead after the first leg at The City Ground, and with them resting many of the first team I can't help but think this is going to be one of those long drawn out 0-0 draws. Still if it is, we still go through to the next round.

August 23 1999

Fixtures Congestion Is A Pain: David Platt has spoken today about his frustration over the fixture congestion Forest are experiencing.

Forest face playing three matches in six days stating tomorrow at Field Mill when they take on Mansfield Town in the second leg of the Worthington Cup 1st round. On Saturday they face Q.P.R at the City Ground and on bank holiday Monday the travel up to Maine Road to play Manchester City.

In Platt's view this is a ridiculous schedule. He said: "I think it's crazy. We shouldn't have to play that many games in such a short space of time. It's not going to be easy but we'll just have to get on with the job. I suppose its' the same for everyone but that doesn't make it alright."

August 21 1999

I Can Go: Carlton palmer today told Sky Sports Soccer AM that he has been told by David Platt he can leave the club when the right offer is made.

Palmer has been upset since pre-season when he was left on the subs bench for the game against Bradford City. He even refused to be in the official team photograph after falling out with Platt.

August 20 1999

ROBBED!: Forest were robbed of two points this evening when they drew 1-1 with West Brom at The Hawthornes.

After a rather tedious first half, where both teams packed the midfield, things got better in the second half and Forest took the lead with a superb cross from Rogers which Dougie Freedman turned in at the far post.

West Brom's Lee Hughs got the equalizer with about 12 minutes to go, a simple header, which Crossley got his hand to but couldn't keep out. The problem was he was a mile offside, but the linesman refused to raise his flag despite the angry protests from Forest.

The referee admitted after seeing the replay that the linesman had got it wrong, trouble is he didn't say whether the linesman had got a bet on the draw or was just a care in the community experiment that had gone badly wrong.

August 17 1999

Marlon To Get One On One Coaching: Marlon Harewood is to get one-on-one coaching from David Platt in a bid to bring on his talents.

The young striker (it's his 20th birthday next week) could see himself reduced to third choice if Platt succeeds in signing a new forward in the coming weeks. Despite Platt looking to bring in another striker he is also very keen to bring on the talents of the younger squad members. Platt said "Marlon Harewood still has a lot to learn about the game. He is a keen learner and I will be able to do some more individual coaching with him.

"The younger lads seem to get into first team football so quickly these days that it's difficult to spend enough time with them in training.

"It's nice to go onto the training pitch with two or three players and when you are one-on-one with them there are a lot less distractions.

"We have now got a couple of days to work on things. Even if it is just 20 minutes after the usual training session it will help.

"Marlon has an abundance of talent and this will give us the chance to hone that ability more."

Palmer In Reserves: Carlton Palmer will be in action for the reserves tonight at the City Ground as they open their league season against Crystal Palace.

He is being played tonight to help build up his fitness levels. It is also likely that he will feature in the squad for this Fridays match against West Bromwich Albion, being televised live by SKY.

August 16 1999

Booth Bid Rejected: Sheffield Wednesday have formally reject Forest's bid for striker Andy Booth. Wednesday boss Danny Wilson confirmed: "We've had a bid from Forest  of £2.5m but that is not enough."

August 15 1999

Dave's Delight: David Platt has told the press of his joy at Forest's first league victory under his charge.

He said: "I was delighted with our passing and movement in the first half and really didn't want to the interval to come along. I had nothing to say to the players at half-time because they had been that good.
"Once Grimsby got their equalizer we lost our shape a little bit and we were second best for twenty minutes or so. But we stuck at it and got ourselves back into the game by showing a lot of character and resilience."

August 14 1999

Mariners Sunk: Forest notched up their second home win of the week, and their first of this years league campaign, when they beat Grimsby Town 2-1 today.

See fixtures page for full match report.

August 14 1999

Mariners Sail In: The Mariners arrive in town today for Forest's first home League game this season.  Forest, having lost in the opening game at Portman Road will be looking to start their promotion push with a home win. They should feel a little more confident after their 3-0 win against the Stags in the Worthington Cup on Wednesday.

August 13 1999

Clough Speaks: Brian Clough has been very elusive since his retirement in 1993. Now, six years after the event he is starting to emerge into the publics gaze again.

Tomorrow Central are screening a TV documentary called The Real Life of Brian at 5:55pm and on Wednesday Century 106 are are broadcasting and hour long interview with the great man. In September Clough will be returning to officially open the new Brian Clough Stand.

Today the NEP has printed an interview with him. Extracts are below:

Clough has seen football grow and change out of all recognition from his last game in charge against Ipswich on May 8 1993. The result that day at Portman Road was a 2-1 reverse. Six days ago, the fifth manager to occupy ‘old big ‘eads' seat, David Platt, saw his new-look side suffer a 3-1 defeat at the same ground.

The silent years appear to be over and Cloughie — as he is still affectionately known by all who have cause to thank him for some great football memories — has found his voice.

Darren Fletcher, sports editor of Century Radio106FM and live commentator on all Forest's games this season, secured one of the first major interviews with the great man this week. 

Settled in the flat above Cloughie's brother's newsagent's shop in West Bridgford, the arch interviewee, thought carefully before he gave his opinions about Forest 1999, doubtless aware of the impact his words would have. He said: "It has saddened me to see Forest struggling and it has given me a big conscience in the fact that I started it, because I was manager there when they got relegated the first time.

"If I had hung on I think we would have got out of the mess quicker than other people did and we might have gone on to get back to former glories. But that wasn't to be — I'd had enough. "What has upset me with Forest was there was a basis there. The stadium was built for a start. I'd built it and paid for it. The crowd was there. And I didn't think Frank Clark and Dave Bassett did them justice.

"If you won the second division, as it was in those days, you knew you had a nucleus. I knew what we were going to do — no one else did — but I did. When I won the second division it gave me so much pleasure." Looking at the new regime — having seen Clark, Stuart Pearce, Bassett and Ron Atkinson all try to steady a rocking Forest ship —Cloughie said of rookie boss Platt. "The word fresh hits me between the eyes because that is a big asset.

"Now I've never met the young man and he's never had the pleasure of meeting me and I don't know how he's going to do, because it's not an easy job to go in cold to. 

"Young Platt will have to take time, Nottingham people will have to give him that time, and directors will have to give him time."

Throughout the great Pierre van Hooijdonk strike debate — overtaken by the likes of Stan Collymore, Nicolas Anelka, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink — there was always the question about how someone like Cloughie would have handled those sorts of situations In typical fashion, Clough went straight to the point, saying: "If they want to go on strike, they go on strike, but for no money. If they want to miss training, they miss training, for no money. 

"They earn their money on a Saturday and to earn that money they have to prepare Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. So you stop that altogether — you stop money. I would have stopped it immediately.

"And if they wanted treatment for stress I'd have done one of two things. I would have said get on with the treatment you've been prescribed or come and sit in my office for a day you'll soon get rid of stress."

Clough has little time for people, like Collymore, most recently, who go to specialists now and dismisses the hype surrounding them by saying: "I don't think it would've been too much of a problem to manage."

Cloughie is now looking forward to another great night at the City Ground — to go with those glory, glory days when Forest swept all before them — when he officially opens The Brian Clough Stand on September 19. Sky TV cameras will be there and a full house is expected as Clough accepts an accolade many think has been too long in coming. "It will be good for me," he said. "Without getting too conceited, everybody likes to get remembered if they've achieved something."

August 11 1999

It's First Home Win: Forest won their first home game of the season tonight, beating the Stags 3-0 in the Worthington Cup 1st leg 1st round match at The City Ground.

After a slow start Forest settled down and played neat football, though they did not make the break through until two minutes before half-time when Bart-Williams floated a beautifully struck free-kick into the bottom left of the net.

After the break Forest looked much more composed and Quashie made it 2-0 with a superb header from around the penalty spot. However, Forest were saving the best till last, and late substitute Bernard Allou scored with a superb strike from 25 yards out and then eclipsed it all with the best goal celebration we have seen at the City ground for a long time.

For a full match report see the fixtures list.

It's Stag Night: The Stags arrive in Nottingham this evening for Forest's first home game of the season against Mansfield Town in the Worthington Cup. Kick-off is at 7:45pm.

The Forest line-up is expected to be the same one that lost to Ipswich at the weekend, with the exception that Steve Chettle who returns from suspension will replace new-boy Mannini.

August 10 1999

No To Brum Move: David Platt have turned down Birmingham City's offer to take Carlton Palmer on a months loan. Platt is looking to do a straight cash deal for Palmer.

August 8 1999

Platt Still Crocked: David Platt has confirmed today that he will not be fit to play in Wednesday's Worthington Cup Clash with Mansfield Town at The City Ground.

Return For Jemson: Former Forest striker Nigel Jemson is returning to the City Ground. Don't get too excited though as he is only training with the team after being released by Bury.

August 7 1999

Forest Lose Opening Fixture: Forest were beaten 3-1 by Ipswich in their opening game of the season. After starting brightly Forest started to lose ground to Ipswich and after the first goal some to lose interest. 

Forest lined up as follows: Crossley, Louis-Jean, Bonalair, Mannini, Matrecano, Scimeca, Quashie, Bart-Williams, Petrachi, Freedman, Rogers
Subs: Beasant, Burns, Harewood, Allou, Dawson

Clough to Open Stand: Brian Clough will be opening the new Brian Clough Stand in front of the Sky TV Cameras. 

The date for the opening is of the stand is September 19, for the game against Wolves. He will also unveil the new bust of himself in the main reception at the City Ground.

August 6 1999

Permission Granted: Permission has finally been granted for the three new signings to play in tomorrow's game.  Permission for Matrecano and Petrachi arrived earlier this afternoon, but permission for Mannini arrived only minutes before this evenings deadline.

All three are now expected to start the game tomorrow.

Squad Details For Tomorrow: We have just received the following squad information for tomorrows match against Ipswich.

Bart-Williams is the Captain (Chettle is suspended after getting sent off at Blackburn last season).

Riccardo Scimeca is deputy Captain and expected to play just in front of the back four.

The three new Italians are all in the squad and expected to start the match (assuming permission is granted in time).

The squad also includes call ups for two youngsters, right-back Richard Cooper, 19, and centre-back Kevin Dawson, 20.

Thierry Bonalair returns from injury, but Woan, Melton, Hjelde, Johnson, Mattsson, Edwards and Platt are all out through injury.

Both Crossley and Beasant travel with the squad but Platt is remaining tight lipped about who will be first choice. Though it will probably be Crossley who will be playing the first match of his testimonial season.

Carlton Palmers future at the City Ground looks even more in doubt with the news that he has been left out of the squad for tomorrow.

If past history is anything to go by then we should win this game, having beaten them in the last five encounters.

Bookies are also making Forest favourites to win the game (how long is it since they did that then?) with odds of 15-2.

No Permission For Italians: Radio Nottingham have just announced that we do not yet have permission to play the three new Italian signings in tomorrows game at Portman Road. This could cause David Platt some headaches in his squad selection.

August 3 1999

The Italians Are Here: David Platt unveiled his latest batch of signings this morning to a press conference at the City Ground.

The new signings are defender Moreno Mannini, 37,  from Sampdoria on a free transfer, defender Salvatore Matrecano, 29,  and midfielder Gianluca Petrachi, 30. Matrecano and Petrachi have both been signed from Perugia for a combined fee of £2.4m.

Mannini and Matrecano both arrived in time to get themselves into the official team photo, Petrachi arrived a little later.

 For those who are interested their squad numbers are Petrachi (9) Mannini (15) and Matrecano (16).

August 2 1999

The Italian Job: Several papers, radio and TV all report today that Moreno Mannini has completed his transfer from Sampdoria to Forest. He is due to report to the City Ground tomorrow morning.

Soar Resigns: It has been confirmed this afternoon that Phil Soar, Chief Executive and original member of the Bridgford Consortium has resigned his post. He will however remain on the board and maintain his shareholding in the club. 

Goldbaek Move is Off: It has been reported today that the proposed move of Bjarne Goldbaek from Chelsea to Forest is now off. 

Apparently Goldbaek rang Platt at the weekend to tell him that he would not be moving to Forest for family reasons.

 


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