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View From The Town End: Nottingham Forest

Some times you can just run in to teams at the wrong time and after four wins in five including 16 goals, it seems Reading have once again picked a bad time to face Nottingham Forest. To get the Forest view on tomorrow's game, we spoke to Nick from In The Top One.

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How would you sum up Forest's season so far?

Oy vey. Well, it's been emotional. The appointment of Stuart Pearce made us all go a bit gooey inside, and initially it seemed to work but then went very rapidly downhill. In hindsight, if you take getting into the playoffs/going up as the only aim for this season (which, incidentally, we shouldn't) and ignore fripperies like long-term planning and so forth, we sacked Pearce too late, as even with Dougie Freedman taking 13 points from 15, we're probably still too far from the playoffs.

What went wrong for Stuart Pearce?

Ach, too soon, man. Too soon. It basically boils down to the fact he's not an awfully good manager, as painful as that is to admit. But we all knew his limitations, and emotion obviously clouded the judgement of most people, which for a football fan is not necessarily a bad thing. Weirdly he was quite often pretty good at making substitutions/tactical switches during the game and did change a good few results, but that of course meant in a lot of cases he got things wrong from the start. He didn't seem to have a real, properly thought-out plan, to the point that it looked like he was throwing the names of players up in the air like Scrabble tiles, then picking the team based on how they fell. It's an abysmal pity it didn't work out, because we'll never have a manager as important to us ever again, but the Derby game, when we won in injury-time with him in charge, made the whole thing worthwhile.

What has Dougie Freedman done to change things?

Simply put, he's organised the defence and put players in their proper positions, where they can do the most damage. We'll see whether it works out in the longer term, but for the moment it genuinely is that simple.

You thrashed Reading back in the late summer sunshine, what did you make of Reading that day and from what you've seen since?

You were pretty poor that day, just really anaemic and unthreatening, kind of playing like a team without a clear plan and who'd only just met. I was really impressed with Aaron Kuhl - he looked ridiculously composed for someone his age, but maybe that was just his hair/him playing reasonably well in comparison to the rest of the team, as I see he hasn't played much since. As I recall the only times you looked threatening were when Jordan Obita was flinging in set pieces.

Who should Reading fans be most concerned about on Saturday?

Henri Lansbury has rediscovered how to pass and score goals, so him coming from deep should be a worry for you. We all love Ben Osborn, who's a beautifully neat attacking midfielder who's just started scoring, while if Michail Antonio is on form then your right-back (hopefully Mr Gunter...) is bang in trouble. Will be interesting to see who plays though, as Freedman has largely kept the same team since taking over and they were out on their feet on Wednesday.

Anyone that Forest fans aren't looking forward to facing?

Obviously everyone is terrified of the ex, so Garath McCleary and Nathanial Chalobah, plus Simon Cox if he plays. Other than that, Yakubu I guess.

Score prediction?

If we're not too tired, a narrow win for Forest, I reckon.

Thanks again to Nick, and you can follow the guys from In The Top One on Twitter @InTheTopOne_