New look Nottingham Forest are Easter visitors
Feature by Tony Scholes
Updated Monday, 1st April 2013
Nottingham Forest and Billy Davies pitch up at Turf Moor this afternoon as the league's form team and as serious promotion candidates.
For us it is another opportunity to try and rectify the problems at home. For a while this season it looked as though it might be a lot better than last season but, with four games remaining, we still haven't past the paltry return of seven home wins we secured in 2011/12.
Back in January, I celebrated my birthday with a 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace. It was one of the most enjoyable games of the season. We played well and fully deserved the win even if we did have to wait until the 81st minute for the goal, scored by Junior Stanislas.
We went to Millwall a week later and won 2-0 and everything was looking good. We've won only once since in eleven games. Only Middlesbrough, who were above us at the time of those wins, have won less points than us.
|Ross Wallace is one of only two home scorers in the last five games|
It's not good enough and it is easy to see where the problem is. We didn't play particularly well at Peterborough, and certainly didn't at Bolton. Other than that, the away form has been more than acceptable. Stretching back further, we've only lost three games on the road since the reverse at Ipswich and only twice since losing at Forest in early December.
It's once again the home form and results. Since that Palace win we've played five home games. We've won none of them, and have picked up just two points from two draws. We've only scored twice and one of those was a Ross Wallace penalty against Birmingham.
It's that sequence of Turf Moor results that has seen us drop back into the bottom half of the table and we've got to find some improvement to that and quickly. Our home form is holding us back and has been now for two years.
Sean Dyche recently touched on it when he spoke about the expectation; Eddie Howe said more than once that the players preferred to play away from Turf Moor. We need that to change.
Holiday periods are always difficult for getting information so there has been no news coming out of the Turf Moor camp as to who might and who might not be injured.
Dyche said before the Watford game that Dean Marney wouldn't play at Vicarage Road and that he was doubtful for the Forest game. I don't think Michael Duff will be in contention either after pulling out before the game at Watford with a calf problem.
Duff hinted on Saturday that he might be doubtful but, on Twitter, said: "Suppose things could be worse, I could have woken up a Stevenage player this morning!!". The news of Graham Westley's appointment had spread.
Should Duff and Marney be ruled out then there won't be much, if any, change from the team that brought a point home from Watford although Ben Mee is available again after serving a one match suspension and could come straight back in.
The team could be: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Kevin Long, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Ross Wallace, Marvin Bartley, Chris McCann, Alex Kačaniklić, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin.
It's all changed at Forest. Two years ago this month we travelled to the City Ground with both sides still in with a chance of the play offs. They won on a night when Marvin Bartley was sent off. We faded away but Forest, under Billy Davies, got there before going out to Swansea in the semi-final.
Since, we've played them three times. We beat Steve McClaren's Forest at home; we beat Steve Cotterill's Forest at the City Ground and were beaten by Sean O'Driscoll's Forest at the City Ground.
We missed out on Alex McLeish altogether but now it's turned full circle and, with sackings clearing his path, Little Billy has returned, breezing in on 7th February.
They were just six points away from the play off positions and a recent run of six consecutive wins has seen them join the top six. That run of wins ended on Saturday when they drew with Brighton, although twice them came from behind with Henri Lansbury scoring a somewhat fortunate stoppage time equaliser.
Had they won that game they would have been coming here looking to set a new club record of eight consecutive wins but they'll still be looking for three points to further their play off hopes.
Right now you would have to say they are favourites to get a top six slot although it's a close call. It does look as though the top four won't be budged leaving Forest, Brighton and the woefully out of form Leicester challenging for those last two places.
Davies is boosted with the return to fitness of Dan Harding and Daniel Ayala and they will be added to the squad which featured against Brighton as could Marcus Tudgay. He suffered a fractured collar bone while on loan at Barnsley but has recovered and could be included.
Forest will select from: 12. Karl Darlow, 2. Sam Hutchinson, 32. Elliott Ward, 5. Danny Collins, 8. Chris Cohen, 28. Radoslav Majewski, 7. Adlene Guedioura, 22. Henri Lansbury, 11. Andy Reid, 9. Darius Henderson, 19. Simon Cox, 31. Dimitar Evtimov, 36. Gonzalo Jara Reyes, 6. Guy Moussi, 15. Greg Halford, 23. Dexter Blackstock, 10. Lewis McGugan, 24. Billy Sharp, 3. Dan Harding, 26. Daniel Ayala, 20. Marcus Tudgay.
Last Time They Were Here
Burnley's second league win of the 2011/12 season, and the first at home, came against Nottingham Forest on a night when it was clear that Steve McClaren's short time as manager was coming to an end.
We won the game 5-1 and that was the first time we'd scored five since we'd beaten the same team 5-0 in the promotion run in three seasons earlier.
|First home goal in over two years for Chris McCann|
It took us five minutes to go in front when a Junior Stanislas cross was headed back across goal by Charlie Austin for Jay Rodriguez to head home. Stanislas bad bamboozled Chris Gunter, the full back who just hates playing at Turf Moor.
The second goal was similar, just without Austin's intervention. Stanislas bamboozled Gunter again and this time Jay Rod headed home the cross.
Ishmael Miller then missed a sitter on a night when Forest did have a decent number of chances but fluffed the lot. They were no better defensively either and McClaren, who had taken a seat in the stand, made his way down to the touchline where, I can confirm, there were no umbrellas.
Chaos ensued in the technical area. It was certainly some heated debate, the result of which Gunter was brought off, a real disappointment for Burnley fans.
It led to more than half their team involved in positional changes. It had an effect' we went 3-0 up. This time it was a corner from the same left wing. Andre Amougou got in a shot, it was blocked and Chris McCann scored his first Turf Moor goal for over two and a half years.
Forest missed two more chances before Ross Wallace ended the half with goal number four, hammering home from just outside the box.
After the fun of the half time interval when Forest players got in the way of a display form schoolchildren, the game continued in a similar fashion although when Forest did get another chance they actually scored, Miller scoring after a mistake from David Edgar.
But any thoughts of a comeback were extinguished when Brian Easton hoisted over a cross that Austin looped over Forest's Camp goalkeeper to give us a 5-1 win.
The teams were;
Burnley: Lee Grant, Kieran Trippier, Andre Amougou, David Edgar, Brian Easton, Ross Wallace, Marvin Bartley (Alex MacDonald 80), Chris McCann, Junior Stanislas (Zavon Hines 76), Charlie Austin (Dean Marney 76), Jay Rodriguez. Subs not used: Jon Stewart, Ben Mee.
Nottingham Forest: Lee Camp, Chris Gunter (Robbie Findley 27), Luke Chambers, Joel Lynch, Wes Morgan, Clint Hill, Jonathan Greening, Guy Moussi, Andy Reid (Radoslaw Majewski 45), Matt Derbyshire (Lewis McGugan 75), Ishmael Miller. Subs not used: Paul Smith, Marcus Tudgay.
Previous Games against Nottingham Forest
|Last 20 Years|
|h||5-0||13,055||Blake, Elliott, Carlisle, Rodriguez, Gudjonsson|
|2011/12||Championship||h||5-1||13,265||Rodriguez(2), McCann, Wallace, Austin|
Click HERE to see all previous results against Nottingham Forest