OPINION: Lack of leaders has left Reds on the brink

Forest blogger Lee Clarke is calling on fans to roar the team to Championship survival.
Forest blogger Lee Clarke is calling on fans to roar the team to Championship survival.

It would appear that if you believe what you read on social media then the actual reason why Nottingham Forest are in a relegation dogfight is all down to Huddersfield Town making 10 changes to their team that were beaten 2-0 by Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon.

Anyone who does truly believe that to be the case should probably remove their intellectually challenged self from my social media platforms immediately.

The reason the Reds face their biggest game for several years when Ipswich Town arrive at the City Ground on Sunday afternoon, is down to the club winning twice away all season, struggling to hold onto leads and a lack of leadership on the field.

Huddersfield have been the surprise package in the Championship this season and their manager, David Wagner, has earned the right to do whatever his wishes with his team based on their quality over the first 44 games of the campaign.

If he had wanted to send his entire first-team squad to Marbella for a few weeks prior to the play-offs commencing and utilise his U18s during the last two games, they why should anyone else be allowed to tell him otherwise?

Forest have won just 13 games this season and if that number doesn’t become 14 this weekend then there is a strong possibility that they will be consigned to League One football for the 2017/18 campaign.

Certain sections of the Forest support need to stop making excuses for the team’s incapability to perform on a consistent basis over the last nine months, with the Reds failing to put two consecutive solid performances together all season in my eyes.

Our away form is the worst it has been in 90 years and that should also come in for some criticism should Mark Warburton fail in his quest to retain the club’s Championship status this weekend.

The team’s form on the road boils down to the amount of natural-born leaders we are able to put out onto a pitch, with the Reds very desperately requiring one regardless of the league in which they will play next season.

Ipswich skipper Luke Chambers fits that billing quite nicely and after very nearly rejoining Forest on deadline day during January, dare I say we perhaps wouldn’t be in this mess had he opted to sign for the Reds earlier in the campaign.

One thing I would say is that if you haven’t been to a game all season, probably because of a certain Kuwaiti businessman still overseeing things in the boardroom, then please get down to the City Ground this weekend.

Forest disintegrating as a football club right before our very eyes has indeed resembled watching your other half get together with another man over the past five years, but for one game, hopefully Fawaz Al Hasawi’s final one, these differences should be placed to one side.

On paper we probably couldn’t pick a better fixture for the final day but as has so often been the case this season, Forest could struggle to perform against one of the lesser sides in the division.

The City Ground should be packed to capacity this weekend for a game of such importance and if you don’t have a ticket yet but care about the future of the football club then do the right thing, swallow your pride and get yourself to the ticket office.

For 90 minutes this Sunday, keyboards should be put to one side, differences of opinion need tossing in the bin and in excess of 25,000 ardent Reds need to roar 11 men in red shirts towards Championship survival.

Sunderland’s Stadium of Light is a venue that I have wanted to visit for some time and hopefully come 2pm on Sunday I can start to plan my trip.

Oxford and Shrewsbury don’t quite have the same appeal somehow.