When Leeds took the lead against Nottingham Forest the fans must have thought they were about to see Neil Warnock’s first home win as manager but the Forest team proved they are not just going to lie down and will be up for the relegation battle they are involved in.
Garath McCleary scored four goals on a fantastic night for the player personally and for the club as they had to show all of their grit and determination which manager Steve Cotterill will be very proud of. Now, Cotterill wants to give a new contract to McCleary and believes it is a top priority if the club want to progress in the future. The 24 year old has already played over 100 games for the club but this season he has finally stepped up and is now performing to the best of his abilities with nine goals in his 17 league appearances and is currently the clubs top scorer.
With the club currently in 20th place and six points out of relegation they really needed a lift and may have been in more trouble had Portsmouth not been handed a points deduction. Added to the fact that a lot of the fans haven’t exactly taken to their manager Cotterill, there could have been more problems in the very near future. Especially when they just lost 1-0 in the biggest game of the season against Derby County they really needed a lift and this is exactly the way to do it.
They didn’t only humiliate Leeds, they also put a smile on every single one of their players and fans faces which could just make everyone at the club relax and play their normal game rather than feel the tension of a relegation battle. Nottingham Forest have had a horrendous season and anyone that had slated Billy Davies in the past must now be wishing he had never left and just stayed with the club. Steve McClaren only lasted 13 games and won just three of these while losing seven of them. This put the club in a terrible position and must have made the supporters angry at the board as they were a team that were pushing for the playoffs year after year and now seem to have taken steps backwards instead of forward.
Cotterill, in my opinion has done a decent job and is doing exactly what was expected of him which was to keep the team in the league. I am unsure whether he will be able to take the team to the next level but at least it looks more likely that they will be playing in the second tier of English football next season.
Nottingham Forest are too big of a club to be playing in a lower division and with their support they should be in the Premier League. They have some talented players like McCleary and Dexter Blackstock who may not be having the best of seasons but proved against Leeds that he can he find the back of the net when given the opportunities. I also really like Marcus Tudgay who always puts in a shift whenever he plays and is always good for a goal. I really hope Forest stay up and push on next season as the fans deserve some joy as they have suffered quite a lot in recent years.