Stuart Pearce has chopped and changed his starting eleven, all season long. Not to mention the formation, reverting to a lone striker far too often.
It seems that despite a wealth of riches at his disposal, the gaffer doesn’t seem to trust his own mind these days. One thing he does have an abundance of confidence and belief in is Michail Antonio.
The burley winger has been outstanding for Forest so far and it seems that he is the first name on Psycho’s team sheet. The Forest boss has trusted his new signing enough to play on either wing and even as the lone striker on occasions.
The 24 year old is fast becoming a fans favourite and if he continues to improve, he could well find himself ranked amongst the likes of Imlach, Story-Moore and Robertson as one of the clubs great wingers.
Whilst the likes of Lansbury, Wilson, and Burke have struggled for consistency; Antonio has been a shining light. It seems that he is the only player that Pearce has 100% confidence in, even Assombalonga has been left out this season.
Forest welcomed Charlton Athletic to the City Ground last Saturday and needed a win to get the season back on track.
So it was baffling to see us start with one up front at home…again. I realise that Brit Assombalonga was suspended but this was a perfect opportunity to play either Blackstock or Veldwijk alongside Fryatt.
The plan as usual backfired after just 9 minutes when Harriott’s 25 yard drive deflected off Mancienne to put the visitors ahead. Just minutes later Paterson crossed for Antonio but he blazed over from 8 yards out.
It was a terrible half and Forest should have gone further behind but for a fantastic, point blank save by Darlow. In the final minute of the half Lansbury and Antonio combined well to force a good save from the Charlton keeper.
The second half saw Tesche replace the injured Lansbury and the German really changed the game. It was one way traffic and Fryatt missed a sitter after 53 minutes.
There were chances galore and Ince also missed an easy chance soon after. Paterson spun his marker in the box and was hauled down but to the frustration of the home support, no penalty was awarded.
To be fair, the referee had an absolute shocker all game long.
Then, just a minute later came the goal of the season. Robert Tesche hit an absolute thunderbolt from 25 yards, into the top left hand corner to level the score.
Forest pushed for the winner and nearly did it, there were chances for Blackstock and Paterson respectively. Blackstock linked up well when he came on which was concrete proof that two up front will always provide more opportunities. Forest deserved to win this game regardless of the formation, Charlton were there for the taking.
It was great to see Paterson in the starting line up but not Tom Ince, it just isn’t happening for him at Forest. Michail Antonio was once again the man of the match, we’d be lost without him to be honest.