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Return of the Eck – Forest Preview
Today sees the return of Big Eck to St Andrews as Blues look to try to complete back to back wins for the first time this season. It promises to be a fiery day as it’s the former manager’s first return to the club since he left in the summer of 2011.
The tricky trees come to Blues in indifferent form, having won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six Championship games. However, under new manager Alex McLeish Forest have only won one game in six and the pressure is already on after the unexpected sacking of Sean o’Driscoll; they also have not won away from home since November.
It nearly wasn’t to be for Eck either – there were rumours that he had walked on Thursday night after a deadline day that saw him miss out on three players including George Boyd from Peterborough after he apparently failed an eye test. As such, Forest have only made the addition of Kuwaiti keeper Khaled Al-Rashidi in the last few days and he is expected to be on the bench today.
Blues had a surprisingly good deadline day, only losing Jack Butland (who is to remain on loan until the end of the season) with Bournemouth striker Wes Thomas also coming on loan. Thomas goes straight into the squad and joins the returning Jonathan Spector in the mix for a place in the 18.
I suspect it’s unlikely that we will see many changes from the XI that beat Burnley last week as Blues find themselves with a chance to register back to back wins for the first time this season. Forest might be in 10th position, seven points ahead of Blues but recent uncertainty within their camp coupled with some unhappy fans mean that this could be a chance for Blues to seize the initiative.
The hope today is that Clark goes for it, remains positive and the crowd stay onside despite the potential distractions of McLeish and possible protest before, during and after the game against the owners. I think this is a winnable game and for the first time in a while I’m feeling positive about it.