Often Partisan

GAMEDAY: v Nottingham Forest

Blues face Dougie Freedman’s Nottingham Forest hoping to build on an impressive start to the season at St Andrews.


Forest won their first away game since February on Saturday against QPR – only their second win in all competitions this season and will be hoping that it starts a revival in their fortunes. They lie in 13th place, three points behind Blues having played a game more.

Michael Mancienne picked up a hamstring injury in that win over QPR and may well miss out while new signing Nelson Oliveira could be handed his first start after making a good impression from the bench on Saturday.


Blues have no injury worries, with Stephen Gleeson coming through the last game unscathed. Rowett may make one or two changes with so many games coming thick and fast although he has intimated he would do it in the past only to leave an unchanged squad. If changes are to be made I’d expect either Andy Shinnie to come in for Jon Toral or maybe David Davis in for the aforementioned Gleeson.

Blues have only lost one in their last six league encounters with Forest, and come into this game with the highest shot conversion in the league (24.4%) and the lowest possession in the Championship (39.7%) – stats that show just how effective Rowett’s counter-attacking strategy has become.


Mark Heywood is the ref for this fixture. He’s taken charge of five games so far this season, showing 17 yellow cards and no reds. His last Blues fixture was the 2-1 win over Watford last season, in which he booked three players including David Davis of Blues.

Suspension Watch

2 Yellow Cards: David Davis and Maikel Kieftenbeld

1 Yellow Card: Tomasz Kuszczak,  David Cotterill, Jon Toral, Clayton Donaldson, Jonathan Spector and Demarai Gray.

The cutoff date for 5 yellow cards to attract a suspension is November 30, 2015
The cutoff date for 10 yellow cards to attract a suspension is April 9, 2016


Often Partisan is working in partnership with Bordesley Labour Club this season. They are based ten minutes away from St Andrew’s on Whitmore Road in Small Heath and have welcomed Blues fans over a number of years on match days.

Food will be available at Bordesley Labour Club on Saturday. Burgers are £2.00, Hot Dogs Dogs and  Hot Pies all at £2.00; plus a special deal on a Burger and pint of Carling for £4.00. Everyone is welcome.

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54 Responses to “GAMEDAY: v Nottingham Forest”

  • Tony E says:

    I too do not expect any changes to the starting line up tonight. However, it would not surprise me to see a few changes for the Friday night fixture. Possibly Maghoma, who has looked quite useful with a physical presence coming in and also Davis who will not let the side down. Expect the defence to remain unchanged.

  • Waycoolblue says:

    No need for change Donaldson just got that spark back it would be mad to drop him now.
    But if we can get a good lead then maybe give some of the others a chance.

  • DoctorD says:

    Food will be available on Saturday…that takes “slow-cooking” to a whole new level.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Same team as Saturday and then changes for Friday to keep a few key players ready for the vile .. Let’s not loose momentum and that feel good factor .. 3-1. Kro

    • Mitchell says:

      Are we really talking about squad rotation when in our position. It would be madness to alter the first X11. Forget Villa game-just keep bubbling along with same team. They can manage these games with modern rest periods of a few days like massage and physio. Ipswich game I agree does come a little soon but knowing our players they will not want to miss a game. If any of us were part of this great run we sure would not want to be rested( even Mr. Mann would take some shifting believe me).

  • Roger Me says:

    I can’t wait to get down St Andrews tonight. If we get a win tonight, we’ll be on our way too a automatic promotion push ;)

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I would keep the same team out tonight, but rest players for Friday.
    My team for Friday is:-
    Spector, Morrison, Lowry, Grounds.
    Davis, Gleeson,
    Solomon-Otabor, Shinnie, Maghoma.

    SUBS. Legzdis, Caddis, Kieftenbeld, Toral, Gray,Cotterill, Donaldson.

  • Texas Pete says:

    Two goals conceded to Bristol City is abit of a worry. Did that reveal a problem in our defence that other teams could learn from? Or was everybody at the other end enjoying themselves?

  • AdamTrueBlue says:

    If we are to rest players then I think tonights game will be easier than fridays so I would start Donaldson, Toral and Gray from the bench if needed and play B_Madsen, Shinnie and Kieftenbeld and if the gam is going our way give Cotterill a rest after half time, and then back to our usual line up for friday.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I think you are right tonight is, in theory, more winnable than Friday but I would be suprised (barring any injuries) if it was anything other than the starting line up from Saturday. Bag the three points tonight and that takes the pressure off for Friday. I think the changes will come next Tuesday whether people like it or not. Personally I would support him in doing that. The Championship is more important for our longer term future than the League cup.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I agree Shirley Blue that the league is more important but I think it’s changes to Fridays game that will take place .. Sherwood said he’s playing his strongest team against Blues and I would be supprised if Rowett didn’t follow suit .. Anyone else it’s play the second string all day but next Tuesday , not so sure but we’re see. Kro

    • Shirley Blue says:

      I think GR will start his strongest line up tonight and Friday then give them a week off before two very winnable games against Rotherham and Brentford. Twelve points to play for there in a very short space of time. Even 7 points from those could see us in the top 2. Whatever Sherwood might have said he has got the Baggies the Saturday before (a must win) and Liverpool (currently very beatable) after. I cant see him playing his strongest team in all three games and they need every point they can get. They have got more chance of going down that we have of going up.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We could possibly rest 2 or 3 for Friday, but I see absolutely no reason to rest players tonight. They’ve all just come back after a 2 week break, so should be full of it.

    Tonight: The First XI.


    Caddis, Spector, Lowry, Grounds
    Kieftenbeld, Davis
    Cotterill, Shinnie, Maghoma

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Barring injury he will play the first XI at Ipswich as well. The changes will come in the cup. He wont worry one little bit about what Sherwood says. GR will do whats right for us. If we were playing anyone else but the Villa next Tuesday we would put the second XI out so why change anything for them.

      I reckon 2-1 tonight.

  • Bluey says:

    I think we`ll probably lose 3-1.Our defence will struggle to keep their strikers out.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think we’re win 3-1 and there defence will struggle to keep Donaldson , Toral , cotterill & Gray out . Kro

    • Cannock nose says:

      Totally agree mate . No reason we can’t beat forest. KRO.

    • zxcv says:

      There defence won them the game, on top the whole game. Records are made to be broken.

    • Bluey says:

      I rest my case.The only good thing is it may dampen down some fans` ridiculous notions of promotion.We are nowhere near good enough and, as i`ve said before,a top half finish would be a very good season. To say last night was a blip is to ignore the painfully obvious that we`re very limited.As teams work us out the season will get tougher and i fear we might go on a bad run.The players give everything but the quality simply isn`t there.Have to hope that GR has something in the pipeline regarding loans.

  • zxcv says:

    I think the game tonight could go either way, I think 2-1 or 1-2 and will depend on who gets the run of the ball or a ref decision. I also think that tonight’s result will determine the team for Friday, a comfortable easy game or a hard fought battling 1-0 win. If the later then expect changes for Ipswich. A win tonight and a nail for Tim`s coffin will do for me.

  • Dave Mann says:

    There will be changes for Ipswich anyway irrelevant of how the game goes … Rowett will play his first eleven tonight then rest 3/4 for Ipswich then go full throttle for the vile .. If Rowett plays a weakened team against vile what sort of reaction do you think he will get of both Blues & Vile .. Blues will say he don’t care because he’s a vile fan anyway and vile fans will laugh and take the piss about our manager being a vile.. We all want to carry on this great run in the league but there’s a lot riding on next Tuesday purely down to Rowetts team selection .. That will tell us an awfull lot but again that’s only my opinion . KRO… The opinions on Rowett are what some Blues fans would think but there not mine, let me make that quite clear!

  • rhees says:

    I have concerns about tonight Forrest will be on a high
    My heart says 2. 1 blues but id take a draw tonight and friday

  • Dave Mann says:

    We have a good record against forest over the last 3/4 years so let’s all chill out .. 3-1 all day .. Let’s stop promoting them and knocking us .. Negativity .. It’s like a cancer. Kro

    • Bluey says:

      It`s not negativity Dave it`s called realism.Mindless optimism will leave you disappointed.

      • Dave Mann says:

        I am a realist Bluey and I was just commenting on our good start but after last night I think disappointment is the right word .. But then as bluenoses we’ve spent most of our footballing lives disappointed .. Let’s hope the feeling Is different next Wednesday to how I feel now! Kro

  • zxcv says:

    We are nowhere near good enough to play Three games in a week and I am seriously worried for the Ipswich game. I just hope people will stop this getting carried away with what is no more than a decent start, but things can turn very quickly in football and 49 years watching blues as taught me to be a realist.

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    We were due a stinker and I can’t think of even a half chance apart from Torals at the end of the first half.Forest weren’t much better.One to forget.

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Disappointing but we were due a bad result. I was surprised he started Maghoma instead of Gray and it didn’t work out. We didn’t deserve anything but Caddis doesn’t make that horrendous cock up and we still probably get a point. It’s not like our keeper had to make many saves. Our passing was awful and we did look jaded. We got murdered in midfield in the second half. GR has some interesting selection decisions to make before Friday. We don’t want to lose two in a row.

  • Mitchell says:

    Last season Davis scored twice at Ipswich. Need him again Friday. Point will do but less will take shine off the next game. Must get more solid in midfield.

  • Bluesfan says:

    Went down tonight away from the game I can’t beleive Blues charged thirty pound for that game tonight total rip off. Back to the game which was an awful game I can’t see why Gary Rowett got maghoma in he’s awful such a weak pathetic player I was told by a Sheffield we’d fan I work with that he’s a rubbish player Forrest were no better but blues made them look good I thought I was watching a lee Clark team and the new striker was terrible he is like zigic he can’t jump and he looks like he’s never played the game before. We didn’t deserve anything from the game our style of football is to one dimensional and we need to stop watering the pitch because all our players kept slipping over sorry to say this but we were abysmal tonight played like a bad school boy team.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    We were totally flat tonight. Maybe the players became a bit too over-confident and thought that, at home, they just had to turn up. Well, the unbeaten run is over, so that puts that one to bed. But it’s unrealistic to expect the team play on top form all the time. Even the best teams have the odd blip. I believe it was just an off-night. I think we’ll be fine.

    Have we ever had two players on the pitch before with double-barrelled names?

    • Hillfield Blues says:

      i think I’ll leave that one for you to research Staffs but on the subject of Soloman-Atobar I think he was the only plus tonight when he came on. Even when he showed their left back which way he was going he would still beat him and get the cross in. Looked a handful.

      • zxcv says:

        Same as Maghoma tho isn`t it he came on twice as a sub and looked the business, what happens to these players when they get their chance.

        • Hillfield Blues says:

          That tends to happen a lot with wingers. Good as impact players but frustratingly inconsistent.Always been the same.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            TBH, there are few genuine wingers today… players who will run at defenders, beat them and get in a cross. They’ve always been the most exciting players to watch, causing a buzz around the crowd when they recieved the ball. Unfortunately, most ‘wingers’ today either have to stop to get a cross in, or they cut inside to have a shot. The days of the Alan Hintons and Charlie Cookes of this world are long gone… but maybe our Viv is the answer. I do hope so.

  • zxcv says:

    To be honest I couldn`t believe Gary coming out with all this talk about resting players, I think he should have kept shtum and not give them an excuse to not perform, after all we have played one game since having a two week break and the blooming season was only 5 games in anyhow. Has Gary heard of P,M,A.

    • atko says:

      Well from last nights game he now knows who he should rest. Toral is definitely in need of a break, he was pretty poor. I think Shinnie might be back in for Friday. Maghoma will be back on the bench, I think Dimi was just rested for Friday, pretty sure he’ll be back. I can’t believe people are knocking Brock-Madsen. You cannot expect someone to come in and change the course of a game without any previous appearances. Maybe that was a bit naïve of GR to not introduce him before now even if it was for 20 mins or 10 mins here & there. The problem with last night was we huffed & puffed but never really looked like scoring. The stats show we had more possession than Forest yet we couldn’t manage a shot on target all night. Forest came for a point, they got lucky with a slip that lead to the goal then we are suddenly chasing the game. Forest did a number on us….they played us at our own game & allowed US all the possession. It worked!

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I hope GR is telling the players that it’s still a great start to the season. Every single one of us would have taken 11 points off 6 games before the season started. We were crap tonight but we still actually lost because of an individual error. Ipswich on Friday is a very tough game but Rotherham at home next up after that. It’s just a setback not a crisis.

  • swissjonny says:

    We have had a dream start.Reality has now arrived.GR and the boys have all done really well-but lets be realistic with our hopes and dreams.If we get carried away then it puts extra pressure on the manager and players.Expect mid table and anything higher is a bonus.You cant expect more with the lack of funds and to be frank with GR,S lack of experience.I am a huge fan and am so happy that he is with us but he is learning on the job.As such he will make mistakes-as long as he learns from them then so be it.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Just a blip , bad result out the way ..one of those games, never gonna score.. Bring on Ipswich . KRO

  • Richard Granfield says:

    A very disappointing night. Teams have come to terms with how we play and can stifle us when we are at home.
    2 players on Donaldson, a man marker on Toral, Gary & Co need a plan B in these situations.
    I have for a long time questioned Caddis’ defensive capabilities and when he attacks and puts in poor crosses it’s time for a change.
    I thought Brock M won all his aerial duels, which was promising, although how many goals he will score I’m not sure. Tom Bradshaw of Walsall is a goalscorer we could do with.
    The passing last night was the worst I have seen this season with everyone guilty.
    Still onward and upward to Ipswich.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Very fair assessment Richard. Kro

  • Retired&Weary says:

    As said by many, it was a reality check last night. Forest gave us some of our own medicine, flooded midfield & closed down very well. Fine margins though, if only Donaldson had taken that chance & Caddis not dropped that clanger ….
    I thought we started sloppily last night, indeed it was a sloppy pass which resulted in Gleeson getting booked & sort of set the tone.
    No need to panic yet though with plan B, team changes, etc. Let’s be honest GR doesn’t have a lot to play with to improve the team. Back to basics I think.
    The big difference between good teams & not so good is movement off the ball & composure on the ball, sadly lacking last night. Hence we resorted to a bit of hoof ball when pressed by Forest, which GR was annoyed with, but do we have the players to improve on this?

    • zxcv says:

      I agree R&W it was a reality check and now we have to do what Brucie always said “how well can we bounce back” We will do well to get a draw against Ipswich and take revenge against the vile and end the month with a good win and performance against Rotherham.

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