NOTTINGHAM FOREST BLOG: Freedman can try new things now promotion dream is officially over, while Lansbury puts in ‘holiday’ display

Despite having only taken a single point from the last three games, Forest now have a chance to try things out for next season in their remaining five matches.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 7th April 2015, 1:27 pm

Dougie Freedman’s men faced three promotion chasing sides in just over a week, and in all fairness they came close to victory in two of those games.

The Wolves game was a combination of a bad referee and poor concentration at the back.

Wolves were one of the first teams who dared to ignore the lone striker rule, which seems to be mandatory in the Championship these days.

The reds dominated the first period and were robbed of a stonewall penalty when new boy Chuba Akpom was hauled down by Danny Batth.

Akpom, who is on loan from Arsenal looked very lively and covered a lot of ground.

He led the line well and looked very dangerous at times.

It was all Forest and we nearly took the lead through Michail Antonio, he chased down Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme and nearly forced home a lucky rebound.

Akpom had a header just over and Michael Mancienne saw his 25-yard effort crash against the post.

Mancienne previously played for Wolves, early in his career.

Wolves turned the tables in the first minute of the second half when the impressive Benik Afobe ran unchallenged and drove the ball home from outside the box.

All it needed was for one of the back four to close him down and force him wide.

This set the tone and the visitors took control.

Their forward line of Sako, Afobe and Dicko ran the show to be honest.

They ran at our defence in droves.

A throw back to West Brom’s “Three Degrees” in the late 70’s! (Ask your dad)

It was no surprise to see Wolves go 2-0 up, Lansbury hacked down Sako for a definite penalty.

Sako took and scored the penalty himself.

The challenge by Lansbury was the icing on a bad tasting cake, despite wearing the captain’s armband his attitude was awful.

He strolled around and looked like he was still on his team holiday.

Last week he posed all over social media on his vacation pictures, beer in hand.

As interim skipper, it would have been wise to steer clear of the camera!

Forest grabbed a last minute consolation through substitute, Dexter Blackstock but Wolves hung on for the points.

This was the official end of our promotion dream for sure.

Next up was Brentford away, a side who pinged us off the park at the city ground earlier this season.

The Bees were well placed for the play offs but Forest had a lot to prove.

Freedman made three changes by including Hobbs, Vaughn and Fox to replace Lascelles, Gardner and Osborn.

Forest, in all blue kit, started well but as the half progressed, the balance of play swung from end to end.

Henri Lansbury took heed of his poor show last week by pulling the strings in midfield and creating a good chance for himself early doors.

After 16 minutes of the second half, Forest took the lead through Tyler Walker, who had replaced Akpom in the first half. I

It was a great goal too, taking down a long ball before beating his man and smashing home.

He is now level with his father in the Forest goal scoring charts!

Walker was replaced by Todd Kane and the Chelsea man also found the net soon after to put us 2-0 up.

You got the feeling however, that if Brentford got one back they’d soon find another.

Sure enough, Andre Gray’s deflected effort beat Darlow at the near post to set up a tense finale.

The home side forced corner after corner but it was painful to see how they equalised.

Not because the goal came in the 95 minute but because it was headed home by the pint sized Spaniard, Jota!

So; with five games remaining you are likely to see a few experimental selections by Freedman, Walker will be looking to get some serious game time.

Whether the loan players will feature again is uncertain because with the embargo in full effect, Dougie is going to have to work with what he’s got for next season.

By Steve Corry