NOTTINGHAM FOREST BLOG: Focusing on the positives

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Nottingham Forest’s latest embarrassment came at the hands of League One Rochdale in the FA Cup third round.

Rather than slate the manager and the performance again I will try and focus on anything positive.

The focus on youth is the only thing that springs to mind having seen glimpses of Jorge Grant, Oliver Burke and Ben Osborn this season.

Grant of course scored against Spurs whilst Burke also has just minutes of League Cup football under his belt.

Osborn has been a revelation, Stuart Pearce deserving some credit for picking him frequently too. The young midfielder plays with real confidence, something that is badly devoid in almost every senior player so far this season.

He is way off the finished article and at times can look out of his depth, that is when you have to remember that he is only 19 years of age.

However, he has performed far better than most of his team mates this season and I can see him in the Premier League one day.

So it was strange to see that Pearce had Osborn on the bench for the trip to Rochdale, especially since Henri Lansbury was once again suspended!

The biggest boost of all was the return of fans favourite Jack Hobbs following a long injury spell. There were also starts for Lars Veldwijk, Dorien de Vries and Chris Burke.

Forest started brightly and should have been awarded a spot kick when Burke was fouled just inside the box after nine minutes. The ref awarded a free-kick instead to the bemusement of every Forest player and supporter alike.

But as usual, we fell behind just three minutes later when Michail Antonio made a clumsy challenge and gave Rochdale a penalty. Peter Vincenti stuck away what was eventually to be the match winning strike.

Britt Assombalonga had a good chance to equalise but with the keeper to beat he managed to put it wide.

The home side also missed a good chance in the last minute of the half , Matty Done couldn’t get round De Vries though. The rebound fell to Jamie Allen who was thwarted by Danny Fox.

Assombalonga missed a golden one-on-one in the second-half in what was now a very scrappy affair.

Forest upped the tempo but failed to create any real chances.

Burke for me was our best player on the day. Very strange to see him subbed on the 90 minute mark for Jamie Patterson, one can only think that it’s a ploy to have the young winger cup tied should he be snapped up by someone who’ll actually play him!

Keith Hill and his side deserved their win, in the same way that most others have this season.

With my beloved Tricky Trees out of both cups and descending down the league I can take pleasure from the fact that we have some promising youngsters coming through.