Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Forest have a point to prove

In my mind Nottingham Forest are the most difficult side for Eddie Howe's men to take on so far this season. That is not any disrespect to Huddersfield or Brentford, but Forest are an established Championship side with deep pockets and a new manager who is out to restore the belief and footballing heritage of a club that has some how not been able to get back to the Premier League. What is more, even with a new squad and Stuart Pearce now at the helm they will still be smarting from the fact that they only get a single point from the two league games against the Cherries last season.
Nottingham Forest warm up at the Goldsands stadium last April.
Stuart Pearce has been busier than most in the transfer market and even last week he was adding to the squad with Robert Tesche who was released by Hamburg. I was most impressed with Britt Assombalonga last season at Peterborough as he had a powerful menace about him as he went about his work in the forward line and he will not give defenders a moments rest. Still £5.5m is a hefty price-tag and a club record which he will have to handle. Pearce has also brought in some season professionals such as Matty Fryatt who was signed from Hull City on a free transfer and Chris Burke who was one of Birmingham's better players last season. Another winger on the club's books now is Michail Antonio who moved from Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday in August, Lars Veldwijk from Dutch side SBV Excelsior and defender Michael Mancienne signed from Hamburg SV should be back in the side this week, so Pearce has added depth to the squad. 

Other signings include the loan moves of Jack Hunt from Palace, and more free transfers - Luis Laing, Danny Fox and David Vaughan. Meanwhile, Pearce was unhappy about Jammal Lascelles and keeper Karl Darlow being sold to Newcastle even if they are loaned back for the season. 

But the talk this summer has been on whether the club can hang on to Henri Lansbury who struck a wonder goal against AFCB at the City ground last year. Burnley have had one bid turned down but they could come back for the 23-year-old who currently has a knee injury. The list of players that have left the club over the summer though is pretty long and it may take Pearce a while to get the new players to click. For that reason it might be a good time for the Cherries to play Forest who did win their first game against a Blackpool side that was pretty much conjured up on the day.

The player that I still believe is a diamond for them is Jamie Paterson who showed just how good he was around the December time when he hit a rich vein of form and basically tore West Ham apart in the FA Cup. Still he was only an unsused sub against Blackpool and played 57 minutes mid-week against Tranmere Rovers, and again was an unused sub for the Bolton draw. Pearce has lots of choice but perhaps that will be his weakness in who to play if he does not know his best team yet.

Look out for my contribution to Seat Pitch's website where I answer a few questions about the Cherries and fan's hopes for the season and AFCB's prospects against Nottingham Forest.

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