Nottingham Forest Super Fan delivers lowdown ahead of West Brom clash
This is part of a regular series from our panel of Super Fans on upcoming West Brom fixtures. Ahead of Friday’s game against Nottingham Forest, we spoke to Forest fan Rich from 1865: The NFFC Podcast.
West Brom welcome Nottingham Forest to The Hawthorns on Friday night desperate to secure a much-needed victory after a three-game winless run.
Albion could only draw 0-0 at Blackpool on Tuesday, a result that has only added to frustration among the Baggies faithful who have also seen their team fail to win against Huddersfield Town (1-0) and Middlesbrough (1-1).
Their next opponents are on an impressive run under Steve Cooper, however, a manager that was linked with the Albion job before Valerien Ismael was appointed.
Since he arrived at the City Ground, Cooper has lost just once in 11 games, a 4-0 reversal to Championship table-toppers Fulham.
Ahead of Friday’s clash in B71, we spoke to Rich from ‘1865: The NFFC Podcast‘, to get the lowdown on Albion’s next opponents.
A former Lincoln City loanee, who starred under ex-Albion man Michael Appleton, is pinpointed as one to watch.
What have you made of West Brom under Ismael this season? How will Forest adapt to his tactics?
Under Ismael, West Brom have seemed surprisingly workmanlike. It seems a surprise that you seem to need long throws as part of your tactical toolbox. The reason is that you have some really good players and a lot of Championship experience in your side. I would certainly have expected you to be top two for the whole season.
It will be interesting to see whether Forest play 3-4-3 on Friday to try and nullify you tactically. Obviously, you have some pace and power in the final third, so Forest will need to counter that. However, I also think that Forest may be able to trouble your backline – we have pace and trickery and I am not sure how your centre-backs will cope.
Steve Cooper looks to have transformed your fortunes since he came in. He was linked to Albion in the summer, what has he done to change things?
It’s been a revolution since Cooper came in. This is partly because things were so bad under [Chris] Hughton, but also because of Cooper’s contagious enthusiasm, his tactical approach and the never-say-die attitude that has filtered through to the players. It will be interesting to see where Forest are after the January transfer window, as he still hasn’t got any of his own players.
Who is likely to pose the biggest Forest threat to Albion on Friday?
At the back, both Scott McKenna and Brice Samba are in good form, but Forest’s danger man is Brennan Johnson. Defenders are scared of his pace, trickery and direct play. Sometimes this leaves gaps for others to exploit! Obviously, I need to mention Lewis Grabban as well – he is showing that class is permanent and Cooper is getting the best out of the veteran striker.
In other West Brom news, Albion want to sign this centre-forward sensation after a weekend scouting mission overseas.