Lee Clarke’s Nottingham Forest blog: Forest need to learn to start games quicker

Thomas Hitzlsperger, Michael Ballack, Toni Kroos, all German footballers renowned for their ability to pick the top corner out from long distances.

By Lee Clarke
Monday, 8th December 2014, 12:22 pm

Add Forest midfielder Robert Tesche to that list.

The summer signing from Hamburg scored an absolute thunderbolt in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic to rescue the Reds a point.

Entering the fray as a half-time substitute for the injured Henri Lansbury, Tesche controlled superbly with his chest before smashing home an unstoppable 59th minute equaliser – with his weak foot!

The sooner Stuart Pearce’s men realise that a Saturday game usually kicks off at 3pm and not 3:20pm the better it will be for everyone.

Forest were not at the races for the entire first half on Saturday and barely mustered a shot at Nick Pope’s goal. The fact they returned to the dressing room lucky to only be one goal behind summed up the first period.

The second was, just as it seemed against Norwich in the last home game, like watching a completely different team.

Forest played with a spring in their step and showed a real determination to get back into the game by playing positive, attacking football.

I thought Tom Ince was fantastic in the second half. Certainly his best so far on Trentside.

Some of our so-called supporters really do baffle me. When Ince’s name was read out in the starting eleven just before kick-off some fans proceeded to boo. I mean really is that what going to support your team is all about?

The fact that Ince proceeded to stick the proverbial two fingers up at his critics was timed impeccably well and he was probably unlucky not to get a goal in the second half.

I think that given game time the former Blackpool man will be a key player for us over the festive period. People need to realise that for the last six months the England U21 international as played very little football and he needs minutes on the field to shake away the rustiness.

Back to Tesche and I do really feel that we are a much weakened side without the 27-year-old protecting the back four.

Tesche’s style is very uncompromising and is so simple yet so very effective.

Whilst I rate both Ben Osborn and Henri Lansbury I feel that when those two play together in midfield we always look susceptible to concede a goal.

Both like to get forward and are probably wasted in not doing so but Saturday’s goal saw them both caught out with a long ball down field. Had Tesche been marshalling the back four I am certain that Callum Harriott would not have had as much time to fire such a speculative effort away.

Pearce is relatively new to the job and I still think he is finding his feet when it comes to his best eleven. Saturday’s game, for me, went a long way in showing that Tesche should be one of the first names on the team-sheet.