Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Conclusions from Forest

Leicester City0-0Nottingham Forest
(HT 0-0)

King Power Stadium, attendance: 23,412
BBC Match Report

Home Team: Schmeichel, Peltier, Konchesky, Morgan, St Ledger, Bamba, Dyer (Howard 78), Drinkwater , Marshall, Nugent (Schlupp 64), Beckford

Away Team: Camp, Wooton , Cunningham, Chambers, Reid (Higginbotham 90), Gunter, Moussi, Guideoura, Majewski (Tuncay 68), Blackstock, Lynch

  • A dull, drab East Midlands derby. With Forest in a relegation dogfight they were always going to visit the King Power Stadium with but a single game plan in mind: play-out a draw. That Forest defended for ninety minutes and nearly grabbed a winner - they hit the bar deep into the second half with the closest effort of the game - does nothing for the reputation of an East Midlands derby but will give the visitors confidence. They deserve credit for their backs-to-the-wall performance that has not only given them a boost in their quest to remain in the division but also dented their rivals' hopes of reaching the Premier League. 
  • Leicester City should have won. Even with Forest sticking ten men behind the ball, the Foxes should have pressed the home advantage. They utterly failed to grab hold of the game, despite the efforts of a makeshift midfield, and handed a desperate Forest a point they deserved. Leicester had plenty of chances but on this occasion it was a clean sheet and not a glut of goals that will take the headlines. 

Ben Marshall
Apologies to the City winger who was mistakenly referred to as 'David' in the previous post. Ben Marshall was without comparison on the pitch last night as he took charge of Leicester's makeshift midfield to often damaging effect. His energy on the ball and willingness to look for a pass forward made him a constant threat, whilst his work ethic in both attack and defence endeared him to the sparse crowd. If this was but a glimpse of what Marshall has to offer, he must have a bright future ahead of him.

Sol Bamba
Finally unleashed on the midfield, Sol Bamba failed to disappoint those who are constantly on his back. The Ivorian international was at his dangerous, leggy best. Keen to work the ball forwards and eager to set the game alight with a bouncy, mazy run, Bamba was the most entertaining element in a drab game and Leicester City were all the better for it. Some will fail to look beyond two badly misplaced long passes but to do so is short sighted - the midfield role suited Bamba and the team.

Lloyd Dyer
Another positive display from Lloyd Dyer could - and should - have yielded another goal for the former MK Dons man. Only his finishing let him down as, sprinting ahead of the Forest defence and stealing the ball from Bamba, he beat two players and the goalkeeper only to fire sadly wide. Forced onto his wrong foot at every turn by Forest's defenders, Dyer had to take too many touches in the final third but without his energy, City would have had a far worse game overall.

Jermaine Beckford
Keen and determined again, but stifled by the ten men of the visitors' defence.

Lee Peltier and Paul Konchesky
Despite being played somewhat to their strengths - Leicester's 4-3-3 formation offered width only through the two full backs - neither Lee Peltier nor Paul Konchesky ever got a true handle on the game. Forest's diligent defending nullified their attacking play and isolated them on the break. It was from the wide positions that the visitors looked most dangerous and the wide defenders must take the blame for being drawn forward and out of position on too many occasions.

Steve Howard
Despite winning headers and offering height up front, Steve Howard did little to impact on the game's outcome following his introduction. He needs to be released to play first-team football in the lower leagues.

Jeff Schlupp
Arriving as a substitute mid-way through the second half, Jeff Schlupp's contribution was a somewhat anonymous one and even he seemed unsure as to his role.


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