Darren Ambrose, David Murphy, Stephen Carr and Will Packwood all remain sidelined but there are no new injury worries.
Forest are waiting to see if they can include Adlene Guedioura in the squad who is now available again due to Algeria’s early departure from the African Cup of Nations.
The two sides met in mid-September when Blues let a 2-0 lead slip in the last twenty minutes and the game ended in a draw. Hayden Mullins and Marlon King had given Blues the lead.
Blues dropped to 18th on Wednesday due to Huddersfield beating Palace. Forest slipped to 10th with defeat to Watford last Saturday. Both clubs have identical records in their last six games of two wins, two defeats and two draws.
So the transfer window has just closed and despite our worst fears it looks like Lee Clark will have exactly the same squad to pick from as he did against Burnley last week. It’s a shame that we had to sell Jack Butland but we have to accept the reality of our situation and he was our most saleable asset. Having him back on loan for the remainder of the season is a good deal for all parties and I’m also pleased that the board kept to their valuations and didn’t let people go on the cheap. Chris Burke, Marlon King and Curtis Davies could all have gone if they had only been interested in getting cash in. I believe that proves two popular misconceptions put about by Blues fans to be untrue. The first that we are in a dire financial state (It’s still not good I know) where we are desperate to sell players and the second that the board are working against the interests of the club.
On to tomorrow’s game and of course all the non-transfer talk this week has been about the return of Alex McLeish. Kev wrote about this in his article yesterday so I won’t dwell on the reception he will get but in my opinion the best way to stick it to him will be for us to put a few goals past his team. If we can do that then we won’t need to be booing him, the Forest fans will do that for us! They don’t appear to have clicked under McLeish and have suffered a few bad results in recent weeks. I also understand that he was very unhappy about not being able to sign George Boyd on Thursday which also won’t help. They are still a good team though who are many places above us in the table and it’s also worth remembering that they were the only Championship club to win at St Andrews last season.
Last week’s victory at Burnley was as welcome as it was unexpected. Marlon King’s winner was an excellent finish and it was good to see him back scoring goals again. Hopefully he can go on a scoring run now that he appears to have his fitness back. That’s four points in two weeks secured in injury time which shows that despite all the clubs problems the spirit is still there. Now we have to push on and record back to back victories which we are yet to achieve this season. Having three of the sides below us pick up victories in mid-week has put the pressure back on and we need to respond. There are a lot of points to be gained against sides around us in February and I have confidence that starting tomorrow we can push up to mid-table by the end of it. I’m hoping my newly found optimism isn’t misplaced.
Blues 2 Nottingham Forest 1
C’mon you Blue Boys.