Punished: Wolves striker
Ade Akinbiyi has been handed a £2,000 fine and an additional one-match ban
for headbutting Tony Vaughan last month. A straight red card carries an automatic
three match suspension under current FA rules. It now means that for one moment
of madness Akinbiyi has been fined two weeks wages by Wolves, £2,000
by the FA and has to serve a four match suspension. The ban will come into
effect on April 13.
Tony Vaughan was also red carded
for the incident, but this was overturned after the referee reviewed the video
Hopes Dashed: Trialist
Sami Abdullah Al-Jaber’s hopes of lining-up in tonight’s reserve encounter
with Coventry at The City Ground have been dashed.
Forest failed to receive clearance
from the Saudi Arabian Football Federation in time for Al-Jaber to figure.
The Reds now hope to include the 27 year old Saudi international striker in
their reserve line-up to face Crystal Palace next Wednesday.
Al-Jaber, meanwhile, arrived
in England yesterday evening and launched his week’s trial with Forest by
training with Jimmy Gillingan’s reserve squad this morning. He’s one of the
hottest properties in Arabic football after scoring 33 goals in 93 appearances
for his country and is keen to try and make his mark in Europe.
Striker On The Way: Saudi
Arabian international striker, Sami Abdullah Al-Jaber, is due to arrive at
The City Ground later today to start a week's trial.
The 27-year-old has scored 33
goals in 93 appearances for his country and will jet in at some point on today
to start his spell under David Platt. Al-Jaber played in the last two World
Cup finals and is expected to make his debut for the reserves against Coventry
on Thursday night.
The front man is playing for
Al Helal Sports Club in Riyadh and has netted a massive 81 goals in 130 games
at club level. Widely regarded as one of the biggest names in Middle eastern
football, Al-Jaber is keen to forge a career for himself in European football.
Take More: Charlton
Athletic have taken a further 1,000 tickets off of Forest's hands for the
City Ground clash on April 8th.
The Addicks sold out of their
initial allocation of tickets for the whole of the lower Bridgford End over
the weekend, so returned to Forest asking for more. Forest have duly obliged
and 1,000 tickets are winging their way to the Valley this morning.
Charlton, as a measure of their
thanks to their fans, are offering a package of coach travel plus ticket for
£10 to all their supporters.
Third Greatest: Brain
Clough is the third greatest manager of all time - official!
Brian Clough was voted in third
place behind Alex Ferguson and Bill Shankly in a poll by FourFourTwo magazine
which got 52 managers to vote for their best manager of all time. Voters included
the likes of Kevin Keegan, George Graham, Craig Brown, Alex Ferguson and David
Clough finds himself above other
great managers such as Matt Busby and Sir Alf Ramsey in the poll, though I
think an lot of Forest fans would argue that the great man should have been
Won't Walk: David Platt
say's in an interview in today's Evening Post that he will not walk away from
his problems at Forest.
During and after Saturday's game
against Blackburn the crowd turned on Platt, chanting "Platt out".
However, after the game Platt said: "I certainly won't go. It's not nice
standing on the touchline listening to supporters venting their frustration
on you. But that's happened to many managers over the years, managers who
are still in the game."
"I have just got to be brave
enough to go out there and do the job to the best of my ability, enabling
the players to perform without the pressure of being booed. If that enables
them to get results to keep us in the division, that will stop the fans venting
their feelings at me."
In Trouble: Forest's
season took a turn for the worse today as they lost 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers.
Hopes were high before the game, after playing so badly last Saturday against
Tranmere and scraping a draw the team managed to turn in a good battling game
against Huddersfield on Tuesday night despite getting beaten 2-1. If they
could play against Blackburn in the same style as they had against Huddersfield
we felt they should get something out of the game.
It wasn't to be, Blackburn started
by far the brighter and took the lead on 7 minutes when Damien Duff blasted
a cross hard across the six yard line, Ashley Ward was there all on his own
to bang the ball straight into the back of the net. In hindsight the ref should
have stopped the game at this point, it would have saved me a lot of time
and effort watching the rest of this awful game.
Forest had to defend for much
of the rest of the first half, as Blackburn tried to extend their lead. Forest
never really threatened Blackburn apart from a superb effort from Marlon Harewood
who ran through the defence and turned very sharply to strike at goal, his
effort superbly saved by Kelly.
Forest made changes during the
break, with Ian Woan coming on for Jim Brennan. Woan may be older and slower
now but he still adds an important touch of class to the midfield. Forest
started to look a little stronger in the second half and Woan's distribution
for the most part was quality. However, chances were still few and far between.
Dougie Freedman was replaced
by Stern John and shortly after that Matthieu Louis-Jean was replaced by Jack
Lester, a right-back for a striker. It saw Forest change their formation to
3-4-3. They started to apply more pressure as the half wore on but Rovers
dug in and rode the storm. The game ended to a chorus of boos and further
chants of "Platt out".
Platt certainly seems to have
lost the confidence of both the players and the fans at the moment. In the
early stages of the game there were small elements of the crowd chanting for
Platt's head, however, these were told to shut up by those around them. As
the game wore on the chants for Platt to go increased, along with chants of
"Nigel, Nigel" and "There's only one Psycho". The fans
seem to know who they want in Platt's place, though whether changing to Nigel
and Psycho at this stage would make any difference I don't know.
Forest are now only two points
clear of the drop zone at the moment and next weeks visit to Crewe is taking
on a frightening significance now.
Sacrifices Payoff: In
one of those rare moments in football these days, Tony Vaughan has shown that
the game itself means more than money to him. Vaughan would have received
a 'substantial' signing on fee from Manchester City had he remained at the
club until the end of the season. However, he was so desperate to move to
Forest to kick start his career that he has waived his rights to the money.
David Platt was complimentary
about Vaughan's sacrifice, saying: "That was very commendable. Tony could
have stayed put until the end of the season, picked up the cash he was entitled
to and then joined us in the summer.
"He's not a massive earner, even
by Division One standards and we were talking about a considerable amount.
However, he was so desperate to come here that he has waived his right to
that cash and we're delighted to have him on board."
Released: David Platt's
plans to reduce Forest to only one goalkeeper came a step nearer to fruition
today after he released third choice 'keeper, Mark Goodlad, on a free transfer.
Goodlad has joined Port Vale.
This means that with the departure
of Mark Crossley at the end of the season we will have only Dave Beasant as
a regular first team 'keeper. Lets hope he doesn't get injured.
Again: The on-off-on-again
saga of Tony Vaughan's signing has finally been resolved. He completed his
move to the City Ground this afternoon for a fee that is believed to be around
The deal fell through twice before
after Forest and Man City failed to agree a price for the 24 year old defender.
However, after Manchester City completed the £500,000 signing of Spencer
Prior form Derby yesterday the two clubs were able to complete the deal earlier
today without any further hitches.
Gets Second VOC: David
Platt has today received another vote of confidence from club chairman Eric
Barnes. With the club perilously close to the relegation zone, Barnes has
come out publicly in favour of Platt for the second time during Platt's short
tenure at The City Ground.
Barnes said: "I'm not going
to desert David now when I think that things are about to improve. Obviously
we're disappointed with our league position but we are anticipating improvements
because the squad has changed.
"David Platt is our manager and
his job is to get his squad ready for next season and that's why we're backing
him and will continue to. We employed David as a man for the future and we
stick by that."
Is Here: John
Terry has completed his move to Forest on a months loan. The
young central defender is one of Vialli's brightest prospects but is being
kept out of Chelsea's first team by more experienced players.
is good mates with Platt and it is believed he was only too pleased to let
Platt borrow his Terry as he needs more exposure to first team action.
Is Ready: Stern
John believes he is now ready to return to the first team for Saturday's game
against Blackburn Rovers.
and Tobago striker played 17 minutes against Huddersfield on Tuesday evening
and followed that with a further 45 minutes for the reserves against Coventry
have been no adverse reactions from his injury and it marks a remarkable comeback
from knee ligament damage he picked up against West Brom in early January.
Edwards has returned to Forest after spending a month on loan with Oxford
youngster has been told by Platt that he has little or no future at The City
Ground and is keen to get a move to kick-start his career. But as today is
transfer deadline day it is unlikely that he will leave for pastures new before
the summer now.
Is 65: Born
March 21 1935, the legend that is Brian Clough today celebrates his 65th birthday.
We hope it's a happy one and there are many more to come.
Chase Terry: David
Platt is chasing Chelsea defender John Terry. Platt is looking to sign Chelsea's
19 year old defender on loan for the remainder of the season in a bid to ease
his defender crisis.
Vialli has been positive about
the moves and is keen for his young defender to get some much need first team
experience by teaming up with his old mate Platt.
John Terry is expected at the
City Ground within the next 24 hours or so to finalise the loan deal. If all
goes well the youngster is very likely to make his debut against Blackburn
Rovers on Saturday.
Is Under Pressure: David
Platt now finds himself under a great deal of pressure ahead of tomorrow night's
trip to the McAlpine stadium to face Huddersfield.
On Saturday, for the first time
this season, a very large portion of the crowd turned on both the players
and Platt himself. The team left the pitch at half-time to a chorus of boos,
but just before half-time there had been a considerable amount of chanting
With the crowd reaction on Saturday
all eyes will be on both Platt and the players as they travel to Yorkshire
tomorrow to try and pick up the pieces. The problem that faces them is quite
a big one as their away form has been abysmal this season and Huddersfield
won't be an easy place to go and pick up points.
The truth is though, the crowd
were booing and chanting on Saturday, not because Forest had gone a goal down,
but simply because their performance on the pitch was atrocious. Any sought
of decent performance against Huddersfield tomorrow shouldn't bring about
the same reaction from the crowd.
Platt himself, when asked about
the booing and chants of "Platt out" said: "The crowd have been
very supportive of me and the players this season and I'm grateful for that.
The way we performed in the first half on Saturday just wasn't good enough
and they were perfectly entitled to be disgruntled."
Saves Forest: This
was one of those mythical games of two halves. The first half has to go down
as one of the worst Forest performances I can ever remember. Though Forest
started the brighter of the two teams Tranmere fought their way into the game
and in doing so seemed to dent Forest's confidence somewhat. As Tranmere got
better, Forest got visibly worse. Then, around the half hour mark Tranmere
made the breakthrough as Alan Mahon provided a teasing cross, Beasant came
out to claim it but could not make it in time and Allison headed into an open
With the goal Tranmere stepped
up a gear, but Forest dropped into neutral, devoid of ideas they looked lost
and uninterested. The crowd were now openly booing as passes went astray and
attacks broke down. Though there have been rumblings among certain areas of
the crowd this season the atmosphere within the home crowd turned distinctly
hostile towards the home team and the manager. For the first time this season
the chants of 'Platt Out' were very clear and a large portion of the home
fans joined in.
As the half time whistle blew
the boos thundered round the ground aimed at the team and Platt himself. The
half time talk can't have been pretty to watch or listen to, but it seemed
to work. Forest came out for the second half a different team and went straight
on the attack.
Forest's aggression caught Tranmere
a little by surprise and it was they who found themselves on the backfoot
for much of the second half. About 20 minutes into the second half Platt bought
on Woan for Quashie. The arrival of Woan bought huge cheers from the home
fans and a touch of class to the midfield, however, it was to be the arrival
of Marlon Harewood a few minutes later that was to have the biggest impact
on the game. Harewood came on for Jack Lester and within two minutes and two
touches later Marlon had levelled the game. It started with Ian Woan releasing
Rogers down the left wing, Rogers then fired a cross deep across the box and
Marlon burst through the defence to meet the ball at the far post and thunder
home a side footed volley.
Forest now went in search of
the winner, first Marlon Harewood charged down the Tranmere keeper as he tried
to clear a back pass. The ball struck Harewood and deflected goalwards only
to drift inches past the wrong side of the post (see Dougie, it can be done,
you don't have to slow down and veer away). Finally, Dougie Freedman went
close in the last minute of the game but a great save from Joe Murphy deny
him his moment of glory.
So the game ended 1-1, Forest
should have won it in the second half after a much better performance but
I suppose if you weigh things up with the first half performance we have to
be satisfied to have rescued a point out of the game.
Named In Wales Squad: Despite
being unable to get a game for Forest, Mark Crossley has been selected by
Mark Hughs for the Welsh squad to play a friendly against Finland at Cardiff's
Millennium Stadium on March 29. He finds himself named alongside Southampton's
Paul Jones and Notts County's Darren Ward for the number 1 shirt.
Says No: Djimi Traore
has declined Forest's invitation to join them on loan for a month. The 20
year old defender has opted instead to remain in the background at Liverpool.
It was understood that Gerard Houllier was keen for the young defender to
join Forest on loan to enable him to gain much needed first team experience.
However, despite Platt and Houllier being keen for the deal to go through
it is Traore who has said no.
Platt has also failed to reach
an agreement with Wolves over the loan of central defender Adrian Williams.
This means Platt faces tomorrow's game against Tranmere with only one fully
fit central defender, Colin Calderwood, who signed only two days ago. He also
has Jon Olav Hjelde as well, but the big Norwegian has only just recovered
from injury and is not fully match fit yet.
Blasts Paper Speculation: David
Platt has blasted earlier paper reports that Tottenham and Everton were chasing
£2 million rated Chris Bart-Williams.
According to Platt, Bart-Williams
is very much in his plans for the future of the team and he does not need
to sell him to raise funds.
Mark Crossley has announced the details of his testimonial game today. The
game itself will be played on May 2 2000 and will feature a Mark Crossley
All Star XI against Jim Smith's Derby County.
The game will also feature a
Forest squad made up from the two European Cup winning sides of 1979 and 1980,
who will play the last 15 minutes of the game.
For full details of the game
including guests, kick-off time and prices see the Mark Crossley Testimonial
pages on this site.
Ready For Action: Colin
Calderwood has spoken about his move to Forest and how he had no doubts about
joining Forest despite their precarious position.
Calderwood said: "I knew that
I was leaving a club who are doing well, but the challenge of helping to save
Forest from the drop appeals to me.
"No one needed to sell this
club to me. Forest are still highly regarded and it is important to turn things
round, avoid relegation and then establish ourselves as promotion candidates
Out For Three Weeks: Forest
have announced that Riccardo Scimeca will be out for three weeks. The captains
injury has been diagnosed as damaged ankle ligaments.
has just broken from the club that Colin Calderwood has passed his medical
and signed for Forest for a fee of £70,000.
Calderwood was due to become
a free agent under the Bosman ruling this summer as his contract at Aston
Villa expired. However, Platt, due to the current defensive crisis has bought
forward the signing and paid Aston Villa a nominal fee for the 35 year old.
Calderwood is almost certain
to make his home debut against Tranmere on Saturday.
One Down: Forest
are facing a major defensive crisis and it just keeps getting worst. The latest
name to be added to the injury list is that of Kevin Dawson who had to pull
out of training with a hamstring injury.
This morning Forest had only
two fit central defenders, Kevin Dawson and Jon Olav Hjelde. With the news
on Dawson's hamstring this leaves Platt with a real headache for Saturday's
game against Tranmere. Jon Olav Hjelde has only just recovered from an injury
layoff himself and has yet to return to the first team.
Ironically, Dawson's injury comes
only hours after Platt had withdrawn him from the reserve squad for tonight's
game against Arsenal as a precaution.
There are rumours that Colin
Calderwood is at the City Ground this afternoon, undergoing a medical, if
this fails for any reason then Forest will have only one fit central defender
to Be Tested:
Chris Doig will be in action for the reserves tonight as David Platt attempts
to bring back some of his injury hit defence.
Doig is back in training after
a long layoff due to injury, but he is not quite ready for first team action
and Platt will be hoping to push him through 90 minutes this evening so that
he will be ready for Saturday's game.
The reserve match is at home
to Arsenal reserves and kick-off is at 7 pm tonight.
Set To Sign:
Dave Beasant is set to put his signature on a new 12 month contract. The 'keeper,
who is 41 next week, has been keeping Mark Crossley out of the number one
spot for the past three months. Crossley has failed to agree terms with Forest
and is now almost certain to be leaving on a free transfer in the summer.
Beasant's contract, like Crossley's,
expires at the end of this season but the veteran 'keeper has impressed Platt
enormously and as a consequence he has earned himself a new 1 year deal.
There are rumours today that Nigel Quashie could be on his way to Huddersfield,
with Ben Thornley moving to the City Ground in a swap deal.
Quashie cost Forest £2
million in 1998 and they would look to recoup that money if any deal were
done. Ben Thornley is not thought to be valued as highly as Quashie so were
Huddersfield to make a move for Quashie then they would have to put some cash
into the deal as well.
Tony Vaughan's hopes of a move to the City Ground have now gone, for the time
The defender reports back to
Maine Road today after the deal collapsed, but it seems the injury he picked
up against Portsmouth on Saturday is not the reason for David Platt's decision
to pull out of a move.
It is believed that the signing
fell through because Platt was unable to agree a transfer fee with City, who
are looking for something in the region of £350,000 for the 24-year-old. The
manager was thought to be ready to match City's asking price, but he now intends
to wait and monitor the situation and hasn't ruled out the possibility of
making another move for the former Ipswich man in the future.
Meanwhile, Colin Calderwood is
expected to make a decision on his future at Aston Villa shortly with a possible
move to Forest on the cards.
are still waiting to hear the full extent of Riccardo Scimeca's injury.
The skipper fell badly during
Saturday's game at Portsmouth and early fears were that he may have broken
his leg. However, the injury is now believed to be ligament damage, which
is better news than a broken leg but still means the skipper will have to
spend a few weeks on the treatment table.
Nightmare Returns: Forest
thought they had put their injury nightmares behind them earlier in the season.
However, they have returned big time to haunt the defence.
Yesterday's game saw both Tony
Vaughan and Riccy Scimeca carried off injured. Tony Vaughan's injury does
not appear too bad, but may have an impact on his permanence move to the City
Ground. Scimeca's injury on the other hand looks more serious. He was quite
obviously in considerable pain on the pitch, he will be going for a check
up in the next day or so to find out the extent of the injury.
Vaughan and Scimeca have both
been key members of the defence in the past month, seeing forest win 3, lose
2 and draw 1. Interestingly, Vaughan had left the field (sent off - Wolves,
and injured - Pompey) before Forest conceded a goal in the two losses. However,
these two latest injuries will be causing Platt some concern as they join
a growing list of injured defenders which includes Jon Olav Hjelde, Salvatore
Matrecano and Jesper Mattsson
Minute Goal Sinks Forest: Forest
lost this game in the dying seconds of injury time to a goal from that great
journeyman footballer, Steve Claridge.
With 78 minutes gone and the
score still 0-0 this dire game looked as if it was going to drag on for ever
and a day and the draw looked inevitable.
Neither side could break the
deadlock and Forest looked pretty solid in defence. In the 79th minute though,
Marlon Harewood found himself on the end of a defensive clearance. He chested
the ball down, ran through three defenders and found himself in the box. Strangely
for Marlon, at this point he looked up, saw that Andy Johnson was well placed
and instead of shooting himself he squared the ball to Johnson. Johnson's
first attempt was blocked, but he quickly leapt on the rebound to slot it
home and Forest were 1-0 up with only 10 minutes to go. The way the Forest
defence had been playing it looked like the three points were in the bag.
Trouble is, nobody bothered to
tell Portsmouth and four minutes later it was back to all square as Thorgersen
found himself unmarked in the Forest area as he headed home a Panopoulos cross.
It got even worse as, deep into
injury time the old war-horse, Steve Claridge fired home from the left to
give Pompey all three points.
With the loss and the fact the
Crystal Palace picked up a win against Norwich, Forest remain on 40 points
but drop a place in the league.
We are by no means out of trouble
yet and find ourselves back to only four points clear of the danger zone.
It's going to be a tense last few weeks of the season
Has Doubts: The
legend that is Stuart Pearce has admitted that he has doubts about his future
in football after breaking his left leg for the second time this season.
Psycho said: "I've no idea about
my future at the moment. It was nice that Harry thought I'd done well in the
two matches I played before the Southampton game, but I'd preferred to have
had a few more matches."
"I'm taking my coaching badges
with obviously one eye on going back into management at some time. I enjoyed
my first taste at Nottingham Forest."
The good news for Stuart is that
Kevin Keegan has requested his presence in the England party for Euro 2000,
as a kind of senior aide to guide the players.
Loan Falls Through: Ian
Woan's loan deal with Scunthorpe United has fallen through. The deal collapsed
after Woan failed to agree personal terms with Scunthorpe.
Woan has been told by David Platt
that he has no part to play at Forest and can leave if he finds a suitable
offer. The left-winger is available for a free transfer under the Bosman ruling
in the summer, but Scunthorpe were looking to rush a deal through before transfer
It is not currently known whether
or not Scunthorpe will renew their bid for Woan in the Summer. Woan himself
is thought to be keen on a move to America. He has an American wife and likes
the idea of ending his career playing in the states.
Discipline Is The Worst: Newspaper
reports are today indicating that Forest now have the worst disciplinary record
in the First Division. It comes after Nigel Quashie was dismissed in last
nights game against Norwich. It was Quashie's second red card of the season,
but much more worrying, it was Forest's tenth red card of the season.
What will be of particular concern
to the manager and directors at Forest is that they still have a £25,000
FA fine hanging over them. The fine was imposed at the end of last season
for the clubs poor disciplinary record. However, the fine was suspended for
one-year to give Forest the chance to clean up their act. Unfortunately, it
looks like Forest haven't taken the chance given to them and they now look
likely to have to pay the suspended fine, along with any other punishment
the FA wish to hit them with for this seasons disciplinary record.
Prutton Banned: David Prutton
is banned from playing against Portsmouth on Saturday after receiving a one
match ban. The ban is the result of his sending off against Wolves for two
Breaks Leg - Again!: Stuart
Pearce, the Forest legend, broke his left leg again this evening. The injury
occurred as the West Ham defender went in to challenge Southampton's Kevin
Davis. It occurred as he kicked the bottom of Davis's boot.
The break is in exactly the same
place as the one he got against Watford six month ago.
The break could spell the end
of Pearce's career. Pearce is 38 next month and for a defender this is definitely
'getting on a bit'. It certainly means that 'Psycho' will not be playing in
Mark Crossley's testimonial match in May and rules him out of West Ham's plans
for the rest of the season. It also means any chance of getting a place in
Kevin Keegan's Euro 2000 plans are definitely out as well.
Harry Redknapp, the West Ham
manager was quite upbeat about the whole thing though and said: "He'll
come back from this. I am sick for Stuart, and so are the rest of the players.
"Obviously he is gutted,
but I have no doubts that he will play again. Knowing Stuart as I do, he will
come back next season fighting fit and will probably kick some right-winger
up in the air in his first game.
"There are not many Stuart
Pearces in football. We are talking about the man who was the best left-back
in football only six or seven years ago. He is like superman, one of the greatest
players we have ever seen."
Well Harry, I am sure there are
very few, if any, Forest fans who would disagree with your sentiments on Pearce.
We all wish him well and hope he recovers well enough to come back again.
Sing A Happy Song: Norwich
left the City Ground this evening by far the happier of the two teams. The
game ended 1-1, but as far as Forest are concerned it was definitely two points
lost not one point won.
The game started in amazing style
with Jack Lester scoring his first ever Forest goal in 14 seconds, yep! 14
seconds. Most of the crowd were still settling down in their seats when he
slammed the ball into the net.
Norwich were stunned by this
early set back and Forest looked set to bag a hatfull as they started to pressure
the stunned Norwich team. However, as the first-half wore on and Forest failed
to capitalise on their chances Norwich's confidence returned and they found
themselves taking charge of the midfield area.
On 27 minutes Matthieu Louis-Jean
made a major cock-up in defence, when it looked a simple matter to blast the
ball clear of defence he seemed to mis-kick the ball straight to the fast
approaching Iwan Roberts. Roberts, the wind whistling through his missing
front teeth, gratefully accepted the gift from Forest and calmly smashed the
ball past an irate Dave Beasant.
The remainder of the first half
saw the ref make some very strange decisions, it's true he made them for both
sides, but he made most of them against Forest. These included not giving
Forest a blatant penalty as Dougie Freedman was wrestled and thrown to the
ground. He didn't fall, he wasn't tripped, he was blatantly wrestled. The
ref watched the whole deal from less than five yards away, Forest appealed
for the penalty, Norwich fans held their heads in their hands, they knew it
was a penalty, the ref waved play on. Everyone was stunned. I can only assume
a certain famous cook had bought the ref some nice home made snacks for after
the game and he didn't want to upset her, that, or the ref was a complete
and utter twat.
It turns out the ref was indeed
a complete and utter twat, the very same complete and utter twat who sent
Dave Beasant off at Elm Park for daring to allow his hand to be stamped on,
thus causing the Reading player (sorry, can't remember who it was) to throw
himself to the ground.
The second half had only one
side in it, that was Forest. From the off they dominated for long spells of
the game. Even after Nigel Quashie was sent off for a second yellow card Forest
still pressed and pressed but could not get the breakthrough goal.
Norwich were not going to score
in a month of Sundays, certainly not without more help from the Forest defence,
which fortunately they declined to give.
So the game ended 1-1, not a
bad game, in fact a much better game than Saturday's effort against Swindon,
despite winning that 3-1, but it was not a classic by any stretch of the imagination.
For Norwich: David
Platt looks set to name an unchanged side when Forest take on Norwich at the
City Ground tonight.
The current side has picked up
9 points from the last 12 and provided there are no injury problems Platt
will not want to break up what appears to be a winning combination for him.
This means Jim Brennan, back from his success with the Canadian International
side will find himself starting on the bench again.
Platt will be looking to get
all three points against Norwich tonight to help ease the fears of relegation
as Norwich, although three places above Forest in the league, have been struggling
to pick up points lately. Also, it will give Platt the chance to get one over
on an old friend and ex-boss, Bruce Rioch, currently the Norwich manager.
Rioch was the Arsenal manager when he signed Platt from Sampdoria.
Akinbiyi has been charged with misconduct by the FA over his sending off for
headbutting Tony Vaughan. The Wolves striker then refused to leave the pitch,
even arguing with his own captain, Keith Curle, who he then appeared to catch
in the face as he lashed out.
Akinbiyi has since apologised
for his actions and Wolves have disciplined the player as well. The red card
he received on the day was a straight red card, which means an automatic three
match ban. However, now the FA have charged the player with misconduct he
must wait to find out what further punishment, if any, he will receive. The
FA's options should they choose to punish the player further include lengthening
his ban and/or a fine.
Tony Vaughan, who was headbutted
in the incident with Akinbiyi was also sent off, apparently for the FA's most
serious offence of all, daring to bleed after having your face smashed in.
However, the referee reviewed the video evidence of the whole incident and
admitted he had made a mistake in sending Vaughan off, and last Friday Vaughan's
red card was struck from the records.
Desperate To Stay: Tony
Vaughan admits he is desperate for David Platt to sign him for Nottingham
The 24-year-old defender ends
his month's loan at Forest with this weekends trip to Portsmouth.
Vaughan said: "I don't want
to go back to Manchester City. It's not because I don't like the club - because
I do - it's just that I know I've got no future there. Joe
Royle has told me I don't figure in his long-term plans and I would love to
join a club like Forest. I've enjoyed my time at The City Ground so far. The
lads have been brilliant with me and I really don't want to leave."
To Joker: David
Platt has said that he will not be taking his interest in Finnish 'keeper
Pasi Laaksonen any further. The FC Jokerit 'keeper spent a week on trial at
The City Ground with a view to moving here in the summer as a replacement
for Mark Crossley.
Moves To Secure Vaughan: David
Platt has said that he will be making moves this week to secure the permanent
signing of on-loan defender Tony Vaughan.
Vaughan's loan spell at Forest
ends this Saturday with the visit to Portsmouth, and Platt is very keen to
make the move permanent as Forest have only conceded one goal in the three
full games Vaughan has played in. Though they did let three in against Wolves,
Vaughan had been sent off (wrongly) before the first goal was conceded. The
sending off has now been wiped out after the referee reviewed the video evidence.
It is estimated that Manchester
City would be looking for around £250,00 - £300,000 for their
out-of-favour defender; they originally paid £1,350,000 for him from
Ipswich nearly three years ago.
Snubs Forest: Forest
have been linked recently with moves to sign Manchester United youngster Jonathan
Greening on loan for the rest of the season.
United's manager, Alex Ferguson,
has now blocked the move. He has refused to let the youngster, who is currently
refusing to sign a new contract, go anywhere unless he get £2.5 million
Patch Nets Three: Forest
hit a purple patch in the last 15 minutes of the first half this afternoon,
netting three goals which saw them eventually come out 3-1 winners against
Apart from the three goals scored
by Rogers, Bart-Williams (pen) and Dougie Freedman, the first half was a particularly
unremarkable event. The first thirty minutes, though dominated by Forest,
were incredibly dull and tedious. It was only when the goals started going
in that both the crowd and the players started to wake up and play.
After going in 3-0 up at half-time,
the home crowd were definitely expecting a bit of a goal feast in the second
half estimates ranged from 2 or 3 more to a very optimistic 7 or 8 from the
guy on the row in front of me. Sadly nobody told Forest what was expected
and the second half was just as dull as the first, with the only goal going
to Swindon from a penalty.
The final score was 3-1 to Forest,
yet despite having secured all three points in the game I couldn't help walking
back along the Trent to my car feeling very disappointed with the afternoon.
Cleared: Tony Vaughan
has had the red card he received last Saturday against Wolves wiped from the
records. Vaughan was red carded after a clash with Ade Akinbiyi, which saw
the Wolves player headbutt Vaughan. Both players were sent off.
Referee Stephen Lodge dismissed
Vaughan after speaking to the linesman, who claimed he saw him push Akinbiyi
in the face. Video evidence proves that this was not the case and Forest immediately
appealed against the decision.
David Platt said: "I'm not surprised
by the decision. After seeing the incident on video I thought there was no
way whatsoever that the sending-off could be allowed to stand.
"Tony didn't do anything to warrant
a yellow card let alone a red.
"It won't win us any points but
it's great that Tony doesn't have to serve a three-match ban."
Must Wait: Jim Brennan
has returned to Forest after helping Canada to win the Gold Cup last weekend.
The player is now available to play against Swindon at The City Ground tomorrow,
however, he may have to wait before he can reclaim his place in the starting
Brennan missed three league games
with Forest while he was away in the US with Canada and David Platt has hinted
that he plans to keep faith with the same side that started at Wolves last
weekend so the best Brennan can hope for is a place on the bench.
Hasta La Vista Carlos: Earlier
rumours regarding Carlos Merino's move back to his home town club, Athletico
Bilbao, have been confirmed.
Forest offered the 19 year old
Spaniard a new two year contract, but a lack of first team action resulted
in him refusing to sign the contract.
He leaves Forest in the summer
under the Bosman ruling and will join Athletico Bilbao on a four year contract.
Banned: Forest's assistant
manager, Dennis Booth, has been banned for the rest of the season.
The FA issued Booth with a £1000
fine and a three month touchline ban after he pleaded guilty to using foul
and abusive language during Forest's 4-3 defeat by Grimsby back in January.
The length of the ban means Booth
will not be able to take his seat on the Forest bench until next season.
Banned: Pierre Van
Hooijdonk has been banned for four games after elbowing an opponent in the
The incident happened during
the quarter final of the Dutch Cup, when Pierre's current team, Vitesse Arnhem
were playing RKC Waalwijk.
The incident was missed by the
referee, however, the Dutch FA have used TV evidence to judge the player and
impose the ban.