Mark Warburton`s Forest welcome Chris Wilder`s Blades Trentside for this afternoon`s Championship fixture.
Forest Manager, Mark Warburton, commented on the woeful recent form;
‘We are disappointed with the results, as you don’t want to lose a run of games but I would be far more concerned if we weren’t creating chances. Possession is irrelevant; it is about how many chances you create and the quality of those chances. On Tuesday we had numerous chances and we just have to convert them.
The players are frustrated and angry when they don’t win gamesl. There is no lack of unity, no lack of togetherness or no lack of competitiveness. We`re in good shape, the players are hungry and desperate to do well.
Warburton on the Blades:
‘They have been promoted, with unity, a harmony and almost a sense of fearlessness and a nothing to lose scenario, so they go for it and we respect it but we will hopefully be able to deal with it.
Every game is a must win game; every game is worth three points. It will be a competitive game against a team that is high on confidence after an impressive run of results and a couple of very good performances. We have prepared well and we go into the game looking forward to what we know will be a tough encounter.’
Nottingham Forest Team News:
Forest will yet again be without Jamie Ward, Matty Cash, Chris Cohen and doubts surround Michael Mancienne and Danny Fox, the former limped off in Tuesday`s defeat at Fulham and the latter has been absent from the squad due to a niggling injury.
Matt Mills will also miss the game after collecting his 5th yellow card, so changes in defence will happen – so, that may see Jack Hobbs return from the wilderness?
Barrie McKay will be pushing for a recall, whilst Eric Lichaj is yet to start a league game.
Player to watch: Mark Warburton
After 10 games it sounds ridiculous that Warburton will be feeling the pressure, but he admits that this is a results driven business and recently, these have been poor.
Forest have lost their last 3 league games and their last 3 home matches and it was clear to hear the discontent in the latest home defeat to Fulham.
The Reds have to defend better, because it is ludicrous expecting to score 2 every game to secure a point?(on the current showing he may well fancy his chances at cenrtre half)… over to your Mark!
Sheffield United Team News:
Sheffield United skipper, Billy Sharp is fit to play, whilst fellow striker Clayton Donaldson is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Enda Stevens has also been declared fit although, former Forest academy graduate, Kieron Freeman, is unlikely to feature due to a hip injury.
Player to watch: Billy Sharp
The 31 year old striker has not featured in the last 3 league games for United but has 4 goals from 8 so far and will be hopeful of adding to that tally against the side he spent a year on loan with (2012-13 season).
That sai he has to displace Leon Clark, who have 4 goals in his last 2 appearances.
Match Facts & Stats
The Blades sit 2nd in the Championship after 10 games, with 21 points (w7, d0, l3) from a fine run of form which involves 5 wins in their last 6 games and winning their last 3 away games, scoring 14 and conceding just 8.
Forest, in stark contrast have 12 points from 10 games (w4, d0, l6) scoring 13 but conceding an unacceptable 18 already. That bears a worrying similarity to Forest`s defensive frailties last season, an issue that Warburton blames on mistakes but, so far, fails to address.
This afternoon`s Referee is Andy Davies, his 9th game in charge this season, the previous 8 have seen 31 yellows and no red cards. Last season, he officiated 38 games, brandishing 136 yellows and 4 red cards.
Mr Davies will be assisted by Daniel Leach and Geoffrey Russell with Timothy Wood as Fourth Official.
The Bookies have the Blades as favourites (I`m getting fed up of typing that) but hard to disagree, as Forest may well play pretty football in patches, but they lack a ruthlessness needed to grind out results.
Interestingly, neither side have drawn a game this season, but with Forest (Daryl Murphy) having to score at least 1 to get anything from a game – then, the Blades will no doubt leave with 3 points (hope not!).
No matter what happens, Forest have 2 weeks until the next game – although, that involves the short trip down the A52 as they face Derby at Pride Park on Sunday 15th October, 1-15pm KO.