I would like to praise all the Forest fans that refuse to blame Huddersfield’s mass player rotation as an excuse for a possible relegation. It’s refreshing to hear so many Red’s saying that we shouldn’t be relying on others.
The Terriers made a whopping TEN changes to their starting line up at the weekend as they faced Birmingham City, who are in contention for the last relegation spot along with Forest. (I still think that Birmingham will go down!) In addition to this good fortune, Blackburn Rovers may also encounter a weakened Brentford outfit on the final weekend of the season. Who Cares?
Despite the possible punishment from the Football League, Huddersfield Town did exactly the same as Nottingham Forest when it was our turn to mount a play-off challenge a few years back. Regardless of the “Glass Houses” syndrome, almost every Forest supporter that I’ve spoken to has uttered the same sentiment. We shouldn’t have to rely on others to bail us out of this situation and we’ve had enough opportunities to keep our own house in order.
Earlier this season, I labelled some of our fans as fickle, which was in response to some trigger happy, keyboard warriors who reacted too quickly to the first half performance versus Norwich at Carrow Road. Understandably, it angered a few readers and made them think that I was tarring all supporters with the same brush. That was never my intention, but when you are lucky enough to have your views projected in the way which I do, you must be accountable for your quotes.
More often than not, I try to refrain from berating the Nottingham Forest players but I was forced to speak out after our latest away defeat at QPR. They now have the perfect opportunity to rectify the wrongs of last week, when they take to the field against Ipswich on Sunday. I have every faith that they will pull a performance out of the bag when it’s most needed. The fact that the destiny of this once great club is still in our own hands seems inconceivable, given the number of missed opportunities to date. I think that’s why nearly every Forest supporter refuses to lay the blame at the feet of Huddersfield and Brentford.
I remember how Neil Warnock made himself look in 2007 when he vented his frustration on Rafael Benitez for resting several players against Fulham. Benitez had guided his team to a second Champions League final in three years, so it was pretty obvious that anyone in that situation would have acted in such a manner. Warnock, who now manages Cardiff City, still bears his grudge with the Spaniard to this day.
I can think of only one man spontaneous enough not to ring the changes in the manner that David Wagner and Rafa Benitez did; Brian Howard Clough. Although the squads were far smaller in the great man’s era, seldom would he rest players in the build up to cup finals. And he reached an awful lot of them in his time. I could never work out whether he was an advocate for momentum or if he was just impervious to psychoanalysis? Either way; he was one of a kind; his winner’s medals proved him right as always.
The collective disregard for excuses by the Forest supporters has really impressed me, not to mention their continued support away from home. Despite the final game now being televised, I would love to see a packed out City Ground and a convincing victory. My message to whatever players are selected is simple; do it for the fans!