March 31 2000

Akinbiyi 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 evidence.

March 30 2000

Sami's 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.

March 29 2000

Saudi 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.

Charlton 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.

March 28 2000

Clough; 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 O'Leary.

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 No. 1.

March 27 2000

Platt 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."

March 25 2000

Forest 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.

March 24 2000

Vaughan 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."

March 23 2000

Goalkeeper 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.

Vaughan 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 £350,000.

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.

Platt 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."

Terry 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.

Vialli 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.

John Is Ready: Stern John believes he is now ready to return to the first team for Saturday's game against Blackburn Rovers.

The Trinidad and Tobago striker played 17 minutes against Huddersfield on Tuesday evening and followed that with a further 45 minutes for the reserves against Coventry last night.

There 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.

Christian Returns: Christian Edwards has returned to Forest after spending a month on loan with Oxford United.

The 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.

March 21 2000

Clough 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.

Forest 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.

March 20 2000

Platt 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 "Platt Out".

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."

March 18 2000

Marlon 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 goal.

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.

March 17 2000

Crossley 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.

March 16 2000

Djimi 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.

Platt 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.

March 15 2000

Testimonial Game Announced: 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.

Calderwood 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 next season."

Scimeca 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.

March 14 2000

Calderwood Signs: News 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.

Another 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 for Saturday.

Doig 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.

Beasant 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.

March 13 2000

Quashie Swap 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.

March 13 2000

Vaughan Gone: Tony Vaughan's hopes of a move to the City Ground have now gone, for the time being.

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.

Scimeca Latest: Forest 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.

March 12 2000

Injury 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

March 11 2000

Last 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

March 10 2000

Psycho 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.

March 9 2000

Woan's 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 deadline day.

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.

Forest 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 yellow cards.

March 8 2000

Psycho 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.

Canaries 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.

Unchanged 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 Charged: Ade 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.

March 7 2000

Vaughan Desperate To Stay: Tony Vaughan admits he is desperate for David Platt to sign him for Nottingham Forest.

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."

No 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.

March 6 2000

Platt 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.

March 5 2000

Ferguson 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 for him.

March 4 2000

Purple 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 Swindon Town.

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.

March 3 2000

Vaughan 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."

Brennan 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 line-up.

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.

March 2 2000

It's 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.

Booth 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.

Hooijdonk Banned: Pierre Van Hooijdonk has been banned for four games after elbowing an opponent in the face.

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.


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