After coming off a decent performance against Man Utd, we all knew that it would count for nothing if Reading didn’t get anything against a Forest side that had recruited well in the summer. For once though, the gods favoured Reading, and lo and behold Nottingham Forest managed to let a perfectly decent manager walk away from the club with (at that point) no obvious replacement lined up.
Getting rid of your manager just before a game has one of two results. Firstly you play your opponents of the park which leaves everyone scratching their heads, or secondly - which is what happened on Saturday - you implode.
After being on the receiving end of two red cards against Millwall, it was our opponent's fate to receive this on Saturday. Whatever the reasons behind Reading getting the win, the three points are welcome. The team on Saturday looked to have energy, purpose and belief - things which have been lacking for most of this season.
Given the result, it’s fair to say the Forest fans aren’t a happy bunch, with heavy criticism of the board and the players, and one tweet that I was shocked by, noting the 26 managers in 30 years. That’s just bordering on ridiculous.
Not a bad call - well at Forest anyway
Wish nffc would stop offering managers contracts for more than 12 months at a time, completely pointless... basically just given them 2 years full pay after they get sacked after the standard 12 months in charge #nffc— SDNFFC (@SDNFFC) January 12, 2019
This is just, well... wrong for any team
30 managers in 26 years since Cloughy....give someone a proper chance, all clubs lose games and have bad runs no matter who they are. History tells you stability is key #nffc pic.twitter.com/Nk8HTTXqSy— Johnny Clayton (@jrclayts) January 12, 2019
You do wonder sometimes...
Huge congratulations to the Nottingham Forest owners who have taken a team in 7th just 4 points off the play-offs with the fans right behind the manager, and have decimated it in the space of 48 hours. #nffc #sameoldshit— Jamie Hastie (@cloughie77) January 12, 2019
Think he would rather stay on loan!
Worrall getting called back from loan. #NFFC pic.twitter.com/QM7hA2wjXq— Retro (@Retro89) January 12, 2019
Let's all be positive!
16pts off the bottom three... #justsaying #nffc— Mark (@iSammo) January 12, 2019
Foreign owners - love em, hate em, just gotta live with em.
Evangelical Marinakis - I want promotion by December #nffc pic.twitter.com/dBJWSzve7A— keith (@BridgfordReds) January 12, 2019
If it was, it backfired spectacularly
Was that an example of player protest? Sounded awful. #NFFC— Antony Dear (@AntDear2010) January 12, 2019
Worst home side - still beat you!
Heaviest defeat & worst performance of the season by a long way. Against the worst home side in the league without a win in 10. 2 stupid red cards. Lacklustre, slow, ill disciplined, poor. Forest press the self destruct button again. This team should be top 3 right? #nffc— Thomas Payne (@trickytrees12) January 12, 2019
Yep, looks like the wheels truly fell off that game!
Forest: NEW YEAR NEW ME!! #nffc— . (@bennettbuzz) January 12, 2019
Now I am one for never digging out journos as I know they have a hard job, limited space and not everyone wants to read about Reading. However, the BBC really got my goat with their match report. I put a tweet out after a glass or two of vino on Saturday night (apologies all) regarding the quality of their write-up, and I'm really not sure that the guy/girl writing it was watching the same game as me.
It certainly wasn’t a “turgid” game and really not a “lame” first half. Really, just really???? Give us some damn credit!
Ok I feel better now! Right, a quick whizz around the rest of the reports sees Vital Forest note how Forest fans slaughtered the players and in particular Danny Fox after his performance.
The Nottingham Post’s five things are all around the off-field issues, with the match report calling it a “dismal” display and laying into the ref but accepting that he had little choice with the two sending-offs.
BT Sport lead with caretaker manager Ireland saying it was an “off day” – he’s learning from the manager’s bible of stating the obvious… They also go on to have the interview with him, with a lot being laid at the feet of Aitor Karanka leaving.
Sky have a decent write-up, saying that Reading resisted Nottingham’s pressure and it was a much-needed win for the Royals. They also have coverage of the game and I don’t think you can argue with either red card decision, to the point where the challenge on Swift that prompted the second-half brawl probably could have been a red in its own right.
Finally there’s Football.London, and the Reading Chronicle both of whom have a plethora of views and news about the game.
It’s been a hard season this one, with some performances that have lacked any sort of direction or game plan. However, Gomes seems to be making his mark, firstly by the reaction to the defeat on New Year’s Day - which seems to have sparked something in this team - and secondly by Gomes firmly putting down markers with the players as to what he expects.
Two loan signings coming in between the Man Utd defeat and this game sparked debate on social media, with a number of fans asking why these positions, and whether they were good signings. The performances from both the new boys on Saturday were encouraging, with Lewis Baker particularly looking effective and wanting the ball. Ok so that may be as a result of the red cards, but regardless of that being the case - it’s positive.
Indeed the reaction seems to have drifted through the team. Barrow looked like he was up for it, similarly Bod running around like a teenager closing the ball down and reducing the options that the Forest defenders and keeper had.
The standout player was Rinomhota (again) and I think he will be here for the rest of this season, but am certain that during the summer he will be off to a bigger club. It’s a shame but we have to accept that this is our role until we consistently are up among the top positions as the money we get for him should finance more players coming in.
Using the academy to fund recruitment is never ideal. However, if we have assets that have a value and the money is spent on players then really I am ok with that.
We now have a trip to Derby on the horizon - could we get something? One swallow doesn’t make a Spring but the indications are positive and wins breed positivity. We need a run and hopefully this is the start.