Date: 14th January 2017 at 7:53pm
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The lingering feeling of frustration that remains in the air won’t evaporate without winning football matches. Today, Blues totally dominated the game against a Nottingham Forest side who were intent on leaving with a share of the spoils. The final third is still an obstacle that Blues are struggling to overcome. For all their possession and toil, Gianfranco Zola’s troops were toothless in front of goal.

In six games under Zola’s watch, Blues have enjoyed the lions share of the ball in four yet have only scored five goals. This afternoon followed a similar pattern. Only three shots on target from 65% possession tells it’s own story.

There’s no question of a plan A or plan B in Zola’s vocabulary. The only plan is a total commitment to play football the ‘proper’ way. It’s easy on the eye and entertaining. Yet, a club has never won points for being merely entertaining. Football will always be a results business regardless of the style a team plays.

For much of this game, Blues’ passing was laboured and too slow. Che Adams played like a man possessed during the early exchanges and was the biggest threat throughout. Craig Gardner’s introduction did much to inject some life into a subdued St. Andrews crowd. His long diagonals bought back pleasant memories from his first spell and his performance today, despite a lack of game time, makes him a shoo-in to start next weekend’s trip to Blackburn Rovers.

Blues tried every avenue in an attempt to break down the stubborn Forest defence who had kept only a solitary clean sheet prior to today. The one time both sides did bundle the ball into the net, the offside flag put a premature end to any celebrations.

On another day, a stone wall penalty could have been the way through but the referee didn’t award one despite a cross seemingly hitting a Forest arm inside the area.

A flurry of free kicks and corners, sent over dangerously by Gardner and David Cotterill, offered some minor scares to the visitors but it was to be one of those days.

Evidently, Blues aren’t a million miles away from being a good side. The foundations are there and the hope is that, given time, the right sort of players will be too. For now though, this one will have to go down as two points dropped.

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5 Replies to “Dominant Blues draw a blank against stubborn Forest”

  • I have to say the players was just forcing it. It was hit and hope football we had most of the ball but did nothing with it. Fab took to many touches there was space to play the ball in to the box but he decided he could beat 4 men all alone time and time agene he did this all game. Adams for me was MOTM but grounds let him down buy wasting all of his good balls with bad follow-up’s. I fort we should have floated crosses in rather than taking drilled power crosses. There was no control on the ball with to much time passing from flank to flank when a simple ball in to the box was needed. It was 2 points lost due to bad decision making.

  • I think Cogley, Cotteril and Gardner should’ve started. Fabbrini was very poor and looks like he wants away though playing him out of position probably didn’t help. Spector can’t cross. Cotteril despite all the criticism he receives is still probably our best right winger. Gardners introduction really perked up blues and he may just be the catalyst for better things. The midfield lacks creativity and I can’t help thinking maybe the introduction of Reece Brown or even bringing on VSO late on to run at them may have produced dividends. I haven’t seen us dominate a game as much as our second half performance. It is a far cry from the Gary Rowett and Lee Clark concede possession football. A much better performance than Brentford where we struggled to put two passes together. Felt like passing for the sake of passing rather than with a purpose. Really lacked a cutting edge with players trying to walk it in instead of shooting. Disappointed we didn’t win today.

  • Slowly under Zola we are getting things right. Yes,a win would have been nice but this season it is now about getting prepared for next season. Play off spots have,imo,already been sorted,so we should relax and watch our new man assemble a decent playing squad. Getting rid of the awful Rowett style was his brief and thank heavens we are seeing it. Zola was a legend in his wonderful striker days and I feel confident he will know who to bring to he club to score goals. Big clear out on the horizon with I feel an unrecognisable starting eleven come August.

  • The feel good factor is growing …until we learn that only six shots ON target per match will do , and that only 2 strikers in the top 10 goalscorers in DIV will do….. then we will progress….
    , sorry lads same old drum same old drummer ….Come on Zola , you can do it ……

  • Its good to see the foundations being laid for better football but we have to be patient. If we had played Gards from the start it may or may not have been a different story. By the time he came on Forest had already decided to shut up shop so it made the job very difficult. In the first half they were a bit more adventurous and we may have found a way through them, but we didn’t move the ball into forward areas quick enough, if at all. Too much dallying around on the ball without having the ability to pick a pass. Yes we had posession but it was into midfield and back again, and by the time the ball went forward it was too late. Gardner has us moving the ball in to the channels much quicker which then gave the other players confidence to make the runs. It wouldn’t have been much longer and we would have scored, that’s why the supporters were disapointed when the final whistle blew.
    I get why he didn’t start the game. You have to keep faith with players when they have done well otherwise they will stop trying, but now he has got the 30 minutes under his belt he will start games and we will see a difference. His influence on the training ground and around the place in general will be huge and we will see the difference next time out. You could see the players responding to his energy and organising. He was going back to the defenders and taking the ball or telling them where to play it, picking it up again in the middle and moving it forward and following it through to press then ball higher up the pitch. Constantly telling them where to be on the pitch and firing them up. The sprinkles of quality will be added as and when we can get the deals done and I for one am looking forward to it.

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