LEE CLARKE’S FOREST BLOG: Win eases any pressure on Warburton

Mark Warburton
Mark Warburton

Nottingham Forest ran out 2-0 winners against Burton Albion on Saturday to ease some of the apparent pressure on boss Mark Warburton.

I say ‘apparent’ because I had seen some disgruntled Forest fans call for the manager to depart after a disappointing defeat to Derby County the week previously, and another loss to the Brewers on Saturday might have left Warburton teetering close to the edge in all fairness.

For the first 45 minutes the Reds were frustrated in their attempts to penetrate a stubborn Burton style, which is negative beyond belief. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that there is more than one way to play football but Nigel Clough’s tactics make Jose Mourinho’s style away from Old Trafford look gung-ho!

Let’s be right about this, the former Forest striker has by far the lowest budget in the Championship but he does possess enough quality to warrant actually having a good go.

Burton came close to opening the scoring in a very rare attack in the first-half but other than that it was a vastly underwhelming bank of five, bank of four and one strapping big lad up top. Very boring indeed.

Onto the Reds and it was great to see David Vaughan back in the red shirt and even though he is now 34-years-old Forest look much more solid in midfield when he is in the team.

His drive and energy are still remarkably impressive considering his age and he is a quality influence for the many younger players currently within the ranks at the City Ground.

For me it was nice to see Barrie McKay handed a rare opportunity to play the entire game on Saturday as I think he has been hooked far too much at times this season by the Forest boss.

When the little Scotsman is on the pitch Forest always look to have a goal in them and he notched a neat opener after a hapless punch from ex-Derby goalkeeper Stephen Bywater saw the ball land at McKay’s feet.

If Bywater’s goalkeeping isn’t bad enough he has tried to claim since the game that the Brewers are actually a better team than Forest which is frankly laughable.

Albion might have finished above the Reds last season during a turbulent campaign for Forest but eight points and ten league places this time around suggests that the two teams will have contrasting fortunes over the next few months.

It was nice to see the Reds, and Warburton in particular, stick to his guns and continue with his free-flowing passing style that he is trying to impose upon his team at the weekend.

Despite what some of the Forest faithful are calling for I think it seems pretty clear that the ex-Rangers manager isn’t going to alter the sort of football he believes in just because John, 24, from West Bridgford isn’t happy playing possession football.

Eric Lichaj was handed the chance to continue at right-back at the weekend and very few have predicted him to score a goal but what a finely taken strike it was, although I think the celebration might need some work!

The American’s goal was reward for some extremely savvy football and it proved that Warburton’s style is one that will come good if it is given a chance.

I cannot sign off my piece this week without paying tribute to 20-year-old Forest supporter Dylan Barker who this weekend lost his fight against terminal cancer.

Dylan is someone who I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet but having followed his updates on Twitter I can safely say that he should act as an inspiration to everyone.

To suffer from such a terrible illness on no fewer than four occasions and keep fighting back is admirable and his family and friends will undoubtedly remember him as a hero and a true warrior. RIP Dylan.