Reds hero Garry Birtles says perspective is required after two home defeats – but maybe the manager needs to mix things up
It’s far, far too early for any sense of panic at Nottingham Forest.
I’m not one for social media, but I’ve heard there was a small number of people on Twitter saying Mark Warburton should be sacked after Saturday’s defeat to Wolves.
We’re only eight games into the league season and Forest are still three points off the top six! They’re closer to the play-off places than they are to the bottom three.
It’s far too soon to be talking about sacking the manager.
Let’s keep calm and have some perspective.
But because it’s Nottingham Forest, there will always be that expectation there.
Two or three weeks ago, after the win over Middlesbrough, everyone was saying how fantastic Warburton was.
There will always be pressure on managers. Managers know that and have to deal with it.
Look how many have been sacked across the divisions already this season. And we’re only in September. There will be more gone before Christmas.
If you don’t win for four or five games you’re out of a job nowadays.
Who’s to say if it’s right or wrong, but I do think managers should be given a chance. I do think you’ve got to give it longer than that.
The one saving grace is that our team name doesn’t begin with the letter ‘b’ – Bolton, Birmingham and Brentford make up the bottom three at the minute! And Barnsley and Burton are down there.
There have been positives for Forest in the last few weeks, even if they haven’t always got the results.
They are in the middle of a really tough run of games. They’ve lost their last two home games to good sides. Leeds and Wolves are two strong teams. They are the top two in the table.
But you’re always expected to do well at home, and the goals they conceded against Wolves were totally avoidable.
With the system Forest play – wanting the defenders to bring it out from the back – you are going to make mistakes. And those mistakes are costing them goals at the minute.
The more mistakes they make, the more it will start playing on players’ minds; they might become nervous in possession and then they’ll make more mistakes. It can be a dangerous cycle.
You just wonder if the players are totally confident with the way they are being asked to play.
Teams can pick up on it, too.
t’s not a criticism, but teams know what Warburton wants to do and how he likes to set up, so they’ll push up five yards and put pressure on high up the pitch. That means Forest get pushed back and the front man gets isolated; it becomes difficult to get up there and support him when they do attack.
That’s the problem.
Even in the Premier League, not everyone is confident playing the way Forest want to. Top quality players can find it tough.
Does three at the back work in the Championship? I’m not sure because of the frenetic nature of it. It’s different abroad.
The best performance I’ve seen from Forest so far this season was against Middlesbrough, when they changed to four at the back.
Maybe that’s something to think about. Maybe they need to mix things up more. Maybe they need to look at the way they’re setting up.
If what you’re doing isn’t working, why not change it? They made a change against Middlesbrough and looked better.
It’s a difficult call to make, though, because when this way works, it looks good. But when it doesn’t, Forest can look pretty bad.