1 - 2 Leeds: Forest lost their penultimate pre-season
fixture today as they went down 2-1 to Leeds United. Though unlike Wednesday's
defeat against Bristol City there was no shame in this one.
Leeds fielded a slightly weakened team as Viduka, Woodgate and Kewell were
all missing due to injury. However, the Leeds side were still very impressive,
and whilst not playing to their full strength they gave Forest a hard time.
Leeds opened the scoring on 23 minutes when Lee Bowyer rifled a shot from
past Beasant from the edge of the area. But two minutes later Forest were
level after Gary Jones, making his City Ground debut, smashed the ball past
Nigel Martyn after some excellent work from David Prutton.
The referee was having a good game, and because this was a friendly he was
reluctant to produce any cards (a pleasant change indeed). This saved Jim
Brennan who only received a 'good telling off' after he hauled down Darren
Huckerby just outside the area. It was rather blatant, and you know he would
have been yellow carded - or even sent off had it been a league game.
Ian Harte stepped up to take the resulting free-kick and calmly lobbed the
ball into the net past a motionless Dave Beasant. The teams went in for half
time with the Leeds having restored their lead.
The second half was played at a slower pace as the afternoon sun took it's
toll. Both sides had their chances but there were to be no further goals.
Forest came back to life with 15 minutes to go. They put Leeds under pressure
but we still lacked the finishing to get the draw they really deserved. Overall
it was a good Forest performance against a good if not full strength Leeds
Like the majority of the fans who watched this game, Platt himself was pleased
with the performance and after the game he said: “I enjoyed watching the game.
“We won’t come up against that kind of quality on a weekly basis in the First
Division but it was an excellent workout for us.
“We were punished for a couple of mistakes but on the whole I was pleased
with the way we played.
“When we left Bristol City on Wednesday night after losing 3-2, I knew I had
several problems to sort out on the training ground.
“But now I can look forward to next week because I think we can add to that
performance on the training ground, rather than having to worry about ironing
Are Here: Forest meet Leeds United at the City Ground
later today in a pre-season friendly. Large crowds are expected to see David
O'Leary's young European Championship qualifiers in action and the club are
warning fans to buy tickets in advance or arrive at the ground early to avoid
congestion at the turnstiles.
Platt has already said that he has no plans to play himslef in the game as
he wants to use this game as an opportunity to test his squad for the new
However, this plan is now doubtful as Stern John, Tony Vaughan and Colin Calderwood
are all definitely out, and Jack Lester and Jon Olav Hjelde have been declared
as "extremely doubtful" after picking up knocks in the Bristol City
game earlier in the week.
The injuries to Lester and Hjelde are not serious, and though they are doubtful
for Leeds they are both expected to be available for the final pre-season
game against Port Vale next Saturday.
Trick: David Platt scored a hat trick this evening
as Forest reserves beat Burton Albion 3-2. The manager opened the scoring
with a cracking drive from 25 yards out, he followed this by scoring from
the penalty spot and finished off the hat trick with a very sweet volley from
the far post.
Despite scoring four goals in two games David Platt is still adamant that
he will only pull on the shirt for the first team if there are no other options.
He has not allocated himself a squad number as yet and he say's he will not
be playing against Leeds on Saturday.
The win against Burton Albion sees Forest through to the final of the Bass
Charity Vase next Wednesday. Their opponents will be West Brom who demolished
Derby County 5-0 earlier this week.
I'll Play If Needed - Platt: David Platt has revealed
in today's Nottingham Evening Post that he will play for Forest only if he
is needed. He has no real plans to become a fixture in the Forest side, but
should injuries take their toll then he is ready to step.
Platt enjoyed a full 90 minute run out with the reserves on Tuesday night
in a bid to test and improve his fitness. He steps up his own fitness regime
tonight when he will be playing for the reserves again as they face Nigel
Clough's Burton Albion in the Bass Charity Vase.
Lose At Bristol: Forest lost 3-2 this evening to Bristol
City. Overall it was a poor performance from Forest who seemed to be suffering
a bit of jet lag after their tour of the USA which ended a week ago.
Forest looked jaded and uninterested, while City were definitely up for this
one. Forest also looked very vulnerable from crosses, which proved to be their
undoing as the match wore on.
City took the lead in the 38th minute when Paul Holland headed home a cross.
Two minutes later Forest equalised as Riccy Scimeca pounced on a loose ball
after Jack Lester's shot was blocked. Only a minute late though City were
back in front as Tony Thorpe headed home from another cross.
The second half was no better for Forest as they never looked likely to score.
City were pressing hard and it paid off when they went 3-1 up on 60 minutes
as Robin Holbett lobbed Dave Beasant from 25 yards out.
Platt substituted Jack Lester for Dougie Freedman and late in the game Dougie
got a goal back which seemed to wake the Forest players up. The team rallied
and started to apply pressure which almost paid off in the dying seconds of
the game as Dougie Freedman headed in a cross from Andy Gray, only to see
the ball bounce back out from the under side of the crossbar.
All in all not a good night for Forest and City were deserving of their win.
Not a good omen for Saturday when Forest take on Leeds at the City Ground.
Next Stop Ashton Gate: Forest's pre-season
steps up a gear tonight when they travel to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol
City. The game kicks off at 7:45 pm and tickets are £6 Adults; £5 Senior Citizens/Students;
£1 Juveniles - visitors pay at the turnstiles.
Leeds Tickets In Advance: Forest are warning fans to
buy their tickets for the Leeds game on Saturday in advance. They are expecting
a large crowd to see David O'Leary's youngsters, a product of the work Paul
Hart did before moving to Forest.
Forest are also expecting a large crowd of Leeds fans to turn up and pay on
the day after computer problems at Elland Road meant many could not buy their
tickets in advance.
Mark Arthur, the chief executive said “We would urge people to buy tickets
in advance to avoid the possibility of having to queue.
“As well as the
likelihood of a large number of Leeds supporters turning up on the day, we
also anticipate that our own supporters may decide that is the day to pick
up their Season Ticket for the coming season.
“If people do decide not to book a ticket in advance, then our advice to them
is to get to the ground early.”
Unreserved tickets are £10
adults and £5 concessions.
Revels In It: David Platt marked his return to football
this evening by scoring for the reserves in their 4-0 victory of Stoke in
the Bass Charity Vase.
Platt played for the whole 90 minutes and opened the scoring for Forest, teenager
Matthew Turner added another, but the star of the show was French trialist
Patrick Reveller who got the other two goals.
Reveller plays for St. Ettienne and is highly rated in his native France.
He is over for a short trial with Forest and this evening's performance will
have done his chances of a move no harm whatsoever. However, he is still under
contract to St. Ettienne and should Platt decide to move for the player he
will face the usual hurdle of a transfer fee.
Platt takes the reserve team to Eaton Park on Thursday night where they will
face Nigel Clough's Burton Albion in the next Bass game and both Platt and
Reveller are expected to play in the game.
Cup Draw: The first round draw for the 2000-2001 Worthington
Cup has been made today and Forest have been drawn against Darlington, the
first leg is to be played away and the second leg is at home. The first leg
games are to be played week commencing August 21 and the return legs will
be played week commencing September 4.
The draw in full is:
Bolton v Macclesfield
Wigan v Scunthorpe
Oldham v Huddersfield
Tranmere v Halifax
Port Vale v Chesterfield
Stockport v Blackpool
Shrewsbury v Preston
Rochdale v Blackburn
Sheffield United v Lincoln City
Crewe v Bury
York v Stoke
v Notts County
Darlington v Nottingham Forest
Burnley v Hartlepool
Grimsby v Carlisle
Rotherham v Barnsley
Watford v Cheltenham
Luton v Peterborough
Gillingham v Torquay
Barnet v Wycombe
Colchester v QPR
Northampton v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Cardiff
Swansea v West Brom
Brighton v Millwall
Norwich v Bournemouth
Leyton Orient v Reading
Southend v Birmingham
Cambridge v Portsmouth
Bristol City v Brentford
Walsall v Kidderminster
Plymouth v Bristol Rovers
Swindon v Exeter
Aims High: Forest's young Forest midfield star, David
Prutton, has set himself an international target for the forthcoming season.
He is looking to clinch a place in the England Under-21 squad.
The 18 year old received a surprise cal up to the international set-up in
May, training with the squad before their defeat by Slovakia in the European
Championships. And the experience has given Prutton a taste for international
football, reinforcing his desire to gain a regular place in the side.
Prutton said: "It was a fantastic experience for me to go and train with the
England lads - there are some fantastic players in that side.
"It would be a natural progression for me to try and get a place in the squad.
"Last season was great and I would like to carry on improving and, despite
England being at the back of my mind, know that I would love to play.
"But, at the moment, I have to concentrate on the important thing - and that
is Nottingham Forest."
Back Home: The Forest squad arrived back at The City
Ground today following their tour of America which has been hailed by David
Platt and Mark Arthur as a major success.
Platt feels that the effects of training in the humidity of Florida can only
be a bonus for his team as they look to launch a promotion push for the coming
He went on to say: "I've been pleased with the way the trip has gone. Of course
we don't actually know how well we have prepared until the new season gets
underway, but in terms of the work we've asked the players to do, I've been
"They've knuckled down to it and have been enthusiastic about everything we've
asked of them which is just what any manager wants."
Op A Success: Stern John has undergone keyhole surgery
on his damaged knee and the operation has been declared a success. He should
be ready for a return to action in 4 - 6 weeks time.
Changes Tune: Mel Hart, chairman of the official Nottingham
Forest Supporters Club has changed his tune over David Platt's statement earlier
this week in which he said he would not be rushed into buying new players.
Hart was critical of this decision in a brief interview with the Nottingham
Evening Post on Tuesday, however, he has now turned completely about face
in a new interview and is backing the manager and his plans.
On Tuesday Hart was scathing in his criticism, accusing the club of 'betraying'
the fans saying: "By not making any signings there's a risk the season could
be over by October. I really don't know what the club is thinking. If we aren't
going to make signings before October, it will come as a a massive blow to
"It may be too strong a word to use, but supporters will be feeling betrayed.
They have gone out and brought season tickets after being promised new players."
For no apparent reason though Hart is today saying in an interview: "I think
David is quite right in not rushing into the transfer market. There is no
point panicking and shelling out on a player who's not going to do the business.
"And to be fair, his signings towards the end of last season were very good,
in particular Tony Vaughan and Colin Calderwood."
Could the change of heart be anything to do with upsetting his cronies on
the main committee, after all we are fast approaching re-election time. Who
knows, but the changed views certainly don't represent the majority of Forest
supporters - those he claims to represent.
Stern Needs Op: It has been confirmed today that Stern
John does need an operation on his damaged knee. John missed the end of last
season with knee ligament damage, however, his current injury, a damaged cartilage,
is not as serious.
He will be undergoing minor keyhole surgery to repair the cartilage and will
be out of action for between 4 and six weeks. This means he will almost certainly
miss the opener against West Brom and possibly the next two or three games
Ends On A High: Forest have now completed their tour
of the USA after playing a private practice match behind closed doors at the
Lockhart Stadium in Miami.
The practice match was hastily rearranged after the USA national team pulled
out due to injuries and Miami Fusion loaned Forest three players to make up
The match ended with the Blues beating the Reds 1-0, the only goal of the
game coming from Jack Lester, who has now scored 4 goals in three games during
Further good news from the practice match was that Chris Bart-Williams and
Alan Rogers both played a part in the game. Bart-Williams has been nursing
a toe injury throughout the tour and Alan Rogers had to be substituted on
Saturday when he received a bad ankle injury. It looks like neither of these
two injuries were as bad as first feared and both players should be available
for Forest's next pre-season game against Bristol City at Ashton Gate on 26
Game Is OFF: Forest's
friendly with the United States national side has been called off at the eleventh
hour. The Americans picked up a string of injuries in their World Cup regional
qualifier against Guatemala on Sunday.
The USA, who play Costa Rica in another World Cup clash this weekend, are
understandably reluctant to run the risk of picking up further injuries and
have called off toady's.
Forest have, however, managed to arrange another friendly with the help of
Miami Fusion. The Reds will play a 30-minute each way amongst themselves but,
with only 19 fit players, have drafted in three Fusion squad members to make
up the numbers.
Chief Executive Mark Arthur said: "We're naturally disappointed but can understand
the reasons behind the US national team's decision. "Once again we're indebted
to Miami Fusion who have gone out of their way to help make this trip such
The rearranged game will kick-off at 9.15am - Florida time - that's 2.15pm
back home in Britain. We don't know whether the Miami Fusion chat room will
be carrying this game or not, so check out their site at around 2:15 this
afternoon and see if they do provide the service.
Signs For Boro: Mark
Crossley has completed a free transfer to Middlesbrough today. He travelled
up this morning to undergo a medical and this afternoon finally put pen to
paper on a deal at Boro.
The move comes after two months of speculation over his future this summer
which saw him linked with clubs like Leicester, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday,
Watford and Birmingham.
But it is Crossley who gets the last laugh on Platt - who decided he no longer
wanted to keep Crossley at the City Ground - by stepping straight back into
the Premiership, If only it was so easy for Platt to do the same.
Won't Push For New Players:
David Platt has commented that he will not be pushed into making new signings
before the start of the season if he is not ready.
The only addition to the squad as yet is Gary Jones on a free transfer from
Tranmere, otherwise, with the exception of the players who have left the club,
Mark Crossley, Ian Woan and Carlos Merino, the squad is the same as that which
struggled against relegation last season.
In an interview with the Nottingham Evening Post Platt commented: "There's
no hurry. I know that after our next signing we won't have any money unless
we generate it ourselves. So we have to find the right man, and bring in the
right sort of player.
"We have a long season ahead of us. We won't be rushed into anything that
might not turn out as we would hope. We have a very good team spirit and we
want to make sure that the person we get will fit in."
Test : Forest will
discover later today or tomorrow the full extent of the knee injury Stern
John picked up whilst with Trinidad and Tobago.
The striker missed Forest's pre-season trip to America because of the call-up
to the national side for World Cup qualifiers, but he was been forced to return
to Nottingham this weekend after pulling up with a knock.
Reports suggest that the striker has damaged his cartilage and will have to
undergo an operation. IF he does undergo the operation it is common for this
injury to take 4 - 6 weeks to heal, so he will certainly miss the first two
or three games of the new season.
Plays In Win: After
the disappointment of throwing away a two goal lead on Wednesday night, Forest
came back to beat Jamaican side, Harbour View 3-1 this evening, in Florida.
Two goals from Jack Lester and one from new boy Gary Jones saw Forest coming
out of this game as comfortable winners.
Forest welcomed back Salvatore Matrecano in defence after he spend most of
last season out with a knee injury, but a welcome sight for most Forest fans
was that of David Platt who came on to play for the last fifteen minutes of
It is understood that Platt only played as part of the deal to set the tour
up and has no plans to take to the field when the new season starts.
Special thanks must go again to the Miami Fusion guys who set up another Internet
chat commentary on the game, and they have promised to relay Wednesday's game
against the US national side as well. Well done guys.
Anyone wanting to watch the chat commentary on Wednesday's game can find it
at www.miamifusion.com and then select
the chat room. Note, kick-off is at 10:30am US time (3:30pm GMT).
Announce Prices: Port
Vale have announced ticket prices for the friendly against Forest on Saturday
5 August at Port Vale. Adults are £5, OAPs £2 and under-16s £1.
Kick-off is at 3:00pm.
Plays Again: Thierry
Bonalair left Forest just before the end of last season. The club agreed to
release him because he was retiring from the game and taking up the full time
running of a restaurant he owns in Paris.
However, the 34 year old left back has had a change of heart and decided to
return to the game, signing a one-year contract with FC Zurich.
Wilt: It is now 2:30
am here in Nottingham and I have just finished 'listening' to the Miami Fusion
v Forest game in the Fusion chat room.
The game started well for Forest with Lester scoring on three minutes and
then Hjelde making it 2-0 to Forest on 16 minutes as he headed home an Alan
However, the heat and the high humidity took their toll on the Forest players
and by half time Fusion had levelled the score with goals from Roy Lassiter
and Diego Serna.
The second half saw the game played at a much slower pace as the heat and
humidity got to both sets of players, though Fusion being used to the climate
took control of the game.
With eight minutes to go Fusion lost Bylik after he was red carded. Despite
going down to 10 men Fusion pressed on and with three minutes to go Nelson
Vargas fired home the deciding goal to run out 3-2 winners.
Game Is On: Forest
have announced today that they are to play the USA National team. The game
will take place behind closed doors next Wednesday, 19 July 2000. The game
was confirmed late last night after negotiations between US and Forest officials
reached a successful conclusion.
Mark Arthur said in a radio interview that despite the game taking place behind
closed doors he would do everything in his power to allow US based and travelling
Forest fans to see the game.
Boy Helps England: Forest
under 16 star, Craig Westcarr helped England to a 3-0 win over Thailand in
the Nationwide U16’s tournament at Hull City this evening. He came off the
bench to score the first goal.
Want To Play USA: Forest
chief executive Mark Arthur, speaking in a radio interview has just announced
that Forest are attempting to fix up a game against the USA national side
as a replacement for the Trinidad game, which was called off last Friday due
to Trinidad's World Cup qualifier against Mexico.
Mark Arthur said Forest were putting the finishing touches to the plans for
the game against USA, to be played early next week, however, the game would
almost certainly be played behind closed doors.
Land Bopp: Forest have
pulled off something of a transfer coup today after signing 16 year old German
whizz-kid Eugene Bopp and stealing him from under the noses of Bayern Munich
and Italian giants Fiorentina.
Paul Hart went to see Bopp play in Germany after receiving a tip off from
Century Radio's Darren Fletcher that the player would be available this summer.
Paul Hart travelled to Germany back in December to see the youngster play,
he explained: "It was a bitterly cold, miserable afternoon, but what I saw
that afternoon demonstrated that this lad was hot property.
"He had been on international duty for Germany that week and for that reason
he only played the last 25 minutes, but that was enough for me."
"You could see the lad had a lot of talent and so we began exploring the possibility
of inviting him over and looking at the education side of things. It has helped
a great deal that he is such a confident lad who can speak English.
"We managed to convince him that this is the right place to be and that is
a testament to what this Club is doing in youth development because he has
not only moved away from Bayern but he has also chosen us ahead of the likes
"He is a very enthusiastic and mature lad who really wants to play for Nottingham
Forest and this is a very exciting capture for this Club."
Lost To Blackburn:
Forest's hopes of signing Craig Hignett have finally ended today with the
news that he has moved to Blackburn Rovers in a £2.25 million transfer
Pull Out: Forest are
looking to line up a third game in Florida's Lockhart Stadium after the Trinidad
and Tobago international team pulled out of a pre-season friendly due to world
cup qualifying commitments against Mexico.
The tour to the USA will still take place, with Forest facing Miami Fusion
on 12 July and Jamaican side, Harbour View on 15 July.
Mark Arthur, Forest's chief executive explained: "Ian Porterfield wants to
focus on preparations for the Mexico game and we have to respect that decision.
"It is very disappointing because the whole idea of the visit was to foster
good relations with Trinidad following the signing of Stern John.
"But if we can arrange another match in the States against good quality opposition,
then it will mean that David Platt will actually have gained an extra day
of preparation when they would otherwise have been travelling to Trinidad.
"One of the main objectives of the trip is to generate a really good team
spirit and being able to stay put in one place will help us to achieve that
'Is A Must': Nottingham
Forest chief executive Mark Arthur today warned of the dire consequences should
the City Ground club fail to win promotion this season.
Forest have lost the financial benefits of the Premier League after failing
to gain promotion last season. And they are still paying some players Premiership-size
That could lead to a summer clearout at the City Ground if promotion is not
gained this time around. Forest might be forced to sell the likes of Chris
Bart-Williams, Alan Rogers, Ricky Scimeca and Andy Johnson.
"We are still very much geared up to be a Premier League side with the wages
that we pay and other factors so we simply have to go up this season," he
"Automatic promotion is the only goal for us but going up through the play-offs
would be acceptable.
"The difference between the money you get in the Premier League and the First
Division is huge and we cannot afford to miss out on that.
"Many of our players are on Premiership wages which would be hard to sustain
if we're out of the top league for too long - the gulf is just becoming too
wide." "That's why it's all the more important for Forest to get straight
back up this season."
Forest boss David Platt has already been told he has to slash his wage bill
and two victims of that policy were Mark Crossley and Ian Woan, both released
at the end of their contracts. Sales will also have to be made to allow Platt
to bring in new faces to strengthen his squad.
But the manager would have to make more dramatic reductions if the club fails
to make the Premier League this campaign. Despite the immediate need for promotion,
Arthur is confident that the club is going in the right direction.
"There is a new confidence at the club but I believe that a good start is
paramount," he added. "We have an experienced staff who have seen all this
sort of thing before and that will hold us in good stead."
Arthur Joined Forest as chief executive in January this year - taking over
from Philip Soar. He was Instrumental in bringing defender Colin Calderwood
to the club and the implementation of cheaper season tickets.
But the former chief executive at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club knows
that success on the pitch is the major factor in the fortunes of the club.
"Running a football club is so different to the cricket club in that results
on the pitch have a dramatic effect to the amount of cash coining in," he
"The reactions of David Platt on the bench are mirrored by my own emotions
because I know that we just have to win"
Signs: David Prutton
Forest's young midfield star has today pledged his long-term future to Forest
by signing an extension to his current contract. The teenage midfielder, who
burst on to the first team scene at The City Ground last season and is now
regarded as one of the brightest prospects outside the Premier League, has
'signed up' for another four years.
Prutton was offered the extension by manager David Platt at the end of last
season but has only just got around to putting pen to paper. The 18 year old,
a product of Forest's much-admired Academy project, revealed: "I wasn't delaying
signing for another real reason. It was just a case of finding the time to
do it. "I regard it as a great reward. It's nice security to have at my age
but it's not all about that. I'm aiming to get better and better."
Say No To Crossley: Leicester
City manager Peter Taylor has finally said no to possible moves for out of
contract 'keeper, Mark Crossley. Crossley was widely rumoured to be in line
for a move to the Foxes when his Forest Contract expired on July 1. However,
this was all prior to Martin O'Neill's move to Celtic, and since then the
move has been in limbo.
Taylor is now understood to have said no to the Welsh international and is
said to be looking elsewhere to replace the soon to depart Pegguy Arphexad.
Go For Bart: David
Platt today played down speculation that Chris Bart-Williams could be about
to follow his example - by leaving England to play in Italy. It was reported
at the weekend that the Forest midfielder was being tracked by three Italian
clubs and that one of them, Atalanta, had tabled a £2 million bid for the
26 year old.
But that's news to Platt, who enjoyed great success as a player in Serie A
with Bari, Juventus and Sampdoria. Platt Said: "We've heard nothing about
'Bart' whatsoever. I think that was just newspaper talk and nothing else."
In Quashie Confirmed:
David Platt has today revealed that there is genuine interest in Nigel Quashie.
The former England Under 21 international, who was transfer listed towards
the end of last season, has been linked with moves to Division One rivals
Portsmouth and Birmingham.
David Platt said: "We've had two or three enquiries about Nigel but nothing
concrete just yet.
"Whether we'll see some kind of movement within the next fortnight remains
to be seen but at this moment in time we've not received bids for any of our
Signs: Tranmere's Gary
Jones has officially signed for Forest today. The 25 year old, who can operate
with equal effect in defence, midfield or up front, today signed a long-term
contract and then took part in the opening pre-season training session.
Manager David Platt said: "We're delighted to have secured the services of
Gary. He's a player I've had my eye on for some time. He's highly versatile
and will strengthen our squad in a number of areas."
Jones, who helped Tranmere reach the final of last season's Worthington Cup
as well as the quarter finals of the F.A. Cup, was also wanted by Division
One rivals Barnsley. But the lure of playing under Platt proved too tempting.
Jones said: "I regard it as a great honour to have been wanted by a guy like
David Platt. He's still relatively new to management but I'm sure he will
take Forest into the Premier League.
"Tranmere is a smashing club and it was a wrench to leave. I had some great
times with them, particularly last season when we did so well in Cup competitions.
"But I just felt the time was right to move on. It's a fresh start for me
and I can't think of a better place to do that than Nottingham Forest."