Nottingham Forest Away Preview 16/17

Magpies Look To Get Back To Winning Ways After Bad Week

Newcastle travel to Nottingham Forest tonight looking to get their season back on track after what has been a disappointing 7 days at the club seeing our 9 game winning run ended by Blackburn followed by defeat on penalties to Hull in the EFL Cup quarter final.

This is where a manager earns his corn in being able to pick the team up from disappointing results and get them firing again. One thing you dont want to do in this league is let one defeat turn into a bad run, the focus has to be on starting off another good run of form which would be particularly useful as we approach the key Christmas period where as we all know the games come thick and fast.

It will be probably more interesting than normal to see what team Rafa goes with tonight. I know he and some fans may disagree but I think he made some big mistakes in the selection for the Blackburn game that contributed to that defeat and obviously the fact we didnt win on Tuesday and had to play extra time to boot kind of rubs it in.

With Mitrovic and Perez missing out completely on Tuesday you would maybe expect to see them involved.

The key thing I hope to see is our strongest back 4 playing - I thought Dummett, Anita, Lascelles and Clark were excellent in our last away league game at Leeds and I think making 3 changes to that back 4 last Saturday didnt help us even though we did obviously ship the one goal.

Lascelles is just a massive player for us in my opinion - leads the back line well and is by far and away the best header of the ball at the club which in this league is vital to have.

With Colback still injured then you would expect Hayden to play again - to be honest I would maybe expect to see the same team as at Leeds other than that straight swap in the midfield but it is hard to judge what Rafa is going to do at the best of times never mind on the back of a couple of defeats and with this being our 3rd game in less than a week.

Whoever plays I dont think we can afford to lose this one or I think we could end up in a bit of a slump that could cost us dear. I know there is a long way to go but we need to be keeping the pressure on those teams behind us rather than giving them opportunities to make up ground on us.

You lose a couple on the bounce and everyone starts questioning your credentials and the pressure soon builds and makes every game harder.

For me I think a key thing we have to do is start getting some draws on the board. Obviously I mean drawing rather than losing rather than drawing rather than winning!

This season we seem to either win games or lose them, there is not much of a middle ground but to be winning leagues you need to be picking up draws when you maybe dont play so well rather than coming away with nothing.

Saturday is a prime example - if you dont beat a team in the bottom 3 at home then there is always going to be a disappointment but at least if you are coming away with a point you are still adding another point to the tally and keeping confidence intact. Obviously would love a win tonight but in situations like this where you have suffered a couple of defeats that have been hard to take then you just need to at least stop the rot a bit and maybe come away with a scrappy point and be relatively happy with that.

Nottingham Forest are obviously another big team that are struggling slightly in this league like a few of our recent opponents but they have some decent players in their ranks that know this division well and will make it hard for us.

Players like Henri Lansbury and Britt Assombalonga (if fit) have the ability to cause us problems and I think players like them who maybe still have aspirations of playing at a higher level either with Forest or somewhere else will always raise their game a little bit more against sides by us.

Certainly dont think this will be a nil nil game, think there could be a few goals but lets just hope it is the Forest keeper picking the majority of those out of his net.

I think these Friday games are always a bit tricky too and the last thing you want to do before everyone else plays tomorrow is give them motivation - get the 3 points tonight and then the pressure is on them to match that at least come tomorrow.

Big game this tonight which will require a big performance, certainly something bigger and better than what we have seen so far this week.

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