18/12/10 15:00 Category: Championship
The recent postponements appeared to do us a favour as a revitalised Forest side easily brushed Palace aside. If it wasn’t for the performance of their keeper, then it could easily have been a hammering. We struggled badly against Leicester, lacking our usual spark and energy but the recent break and changes in midfield produced a real benefit.
There were some surprises in the starting line-up, with McKenna unable to dislodge Moussi and Cohen relegated to the bench after a disappointing season so far. Ramsey also had to be satisfied with a substitutes role, however Tudgay made his debut.
Defensively we were rarely threatened, however that didn’t prevent impressive performances from the likes of Gunter and Chambers. Both produced important last ditch challenges to ensure a clean sheet and prevent any underserved reward for Palace. After a couple of poor misses earlier in the season, Chambers finally got off the mark for the season, getting on the end of McGugan’s pin-point driven corner. The same combination nearly produced another return in the second half but another save kept the effort out.
Too often this season, our midfield has failed to reach the heights of last season, with passing a real issue. After a dodgy opening spell, we soon took control of the midfield and looked comfortable throughout. Moussi did all of the dirty work, getting back to break up the few Palace attacks enabling the rest to concentrate on breaking down the visitors. Definitely a good day for Moussi but the real issue is repeating this level of performance every week instead of every one in three games.
MOTM Majewksi looked more influential, taking responsibility for relieving Morgan and Chambers of possession and getting us moving with quality and purpose. Too often this season, our defenders have retained the ball for much too long but today Majewski prevented this from happening. Once he got on the ball, mainly unchallenged, he was able to dictate our attacks and get us breaking with pace and quality. Having done enough damage, he earned a well-deserved rest and provided Ramsey with a twenty minute cameo. Even in this short time, his quality was evident and hopefully there is enough time of the loan remaining for us to see the best of him for longer spells.
McGugan continues to look a threat, even though his shoot on sight policy was to the detriment of the side on occasions. Even moved out onto the left hand side, he continues to pose problems in all areas and Palace never really handled him. A number of accurate set pieces saw us score once and created a number of other dangerous situations.
Anderson’s form has been a concern this season but there were signs of improved form after the break. Too often, he finds himself in good positions but unable to beat his defender or lacks the precision to find a team-mate. One impressive example of his pace saw him burst through on goal but couldn’t beat Speroni. A goal would probably do wonders for his confidence and get him started this season. His replacement, McCleary, rounded off the afternoon with a decent first touch and clinical low finish.
Earnshaw was unlucky not to score and saw a number of efforts well saved by their keeper. The early indications of his partnership with Tudgay were positive and there were certainly signs of an understanding already. On occasions, a little more appreciation of his team-mates would have benefitted the side. As with Anderson, a goal would get his season up and running again especially after missing another routine one-on-one.
Tudgay quality on the ball was evident, a decent first touch and good awareness with the rest of the side even at this early stage. Was involved with many of the decent moves we put together and showed great composure for his goal when faced with an on-rushing keeper. Unlike many time this season, we had two strikers working closely together and showing signs of forming a partnership. It's only one game but the team saw a benefit from having a footballer leading the line.