Date: 9th March 2006 at 8:21pm
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In the first of Vital Gillingham’s brand new series, one of my Nottingham Forest counterparts – Martin – answers ten questions that I thought might be interesting to us Gills fans ahead of the weekend trip to Nottingham.

1) League One’s not a very good division, is it? Why do you think all three of the relegated sides are making it look so tough?

Well with Forest it’s been purely the away form and obviously we have had issues with Megson and his tactics as well but whenever we play away its somebody’s Cup Final and we struggled to cope.

Many fans think if we had attacked and played better football against a few more teams away from home we wouldnt be in the position we are now.

I am surprised to see the three of us not in contention, especially Forest and Gillingham, there are some poor teams in this league and I believe its simply down to our clubs making a mess of things rather than the other sides being that good.

2) You were the pre-season favourites for the division, but did you ever really believe it would be a stroll?

A few Forest fans became carried away with the pre-season signings and thought we would have the league wrapped up long before the season’s end. The more realistic fans have been let down before and weren’t so brash with their predictions.

Some of the more heralded signings such as Gary Holt and Nicky Eaden have been utter let downs so far and havent lived up to their billing and maybe had they been on form it could have been different.

Many of us believed we would at least have been in the play-offs, personally I thought we could have been going back up but not without problems en route. On paper Forest had the squad capable of promotion, so Nottingham expected basically.

3) What has been the highlight of your season so far?

The highlight, difficult one! The highlight of our season so far, maybe the 7-1 win over Swindon but purely as I’m struggling to find any others!

4) And the lowlight?

The lowlight, well its a combination of really. I never thought i would see the time when Forest lost competitve matches in one season to Yeovil, Macclesfield, Woking and were taken to a replay by Weymouth and only just won that! Shocking really when you think about it. Personally the home game against Barnsley was the worst for me, we were abject that game and embarrassed ourselves on national TV.

5) Do you think you’ve left it too late to get into the play-off picture this year? And, if so, what will failure mean for the club?

It’s looking unlikely, it will take a hell of a run to catch the top teams up.

It’s still possible but were not holding out. Most of the fans have accepted another year down here already and we are looking at the club building for the future with a new Manager coming in the summer.

We need to start planning ahead and the players need some good results to gain confidence and gel as a side. If we finish the season well we can look forward to maybe a more competitive season, challenging at the top.

6) Do you think we’ll manage to stay up?

I haven’t seen your boys yet, but I am surprised at where you are, I thought your style of play and determined players would have made you ideal for fighting for promotion.

I can’t really see you going down as I think there are worse sides although ask me again after Saturday when I have seen you play.

7) How’s Trigger doing? I hear he’s been broken before Saturday…

Yeah real shame that, he was just finding the form that endeared him to the fans at the start of the season.

He has the most assists in the country and against Swindon he scored a hat-trick and a hat-trick of assists.

We will definitly miss him as he is now out for a month. He isn’t the quickest obviously but he can cross a ball and thats something we have been missing down the right for a while.

Cracking story i heard from a Gills fan about Trigger super glueing his hub-caps as well!!

8) Who are the men to watch for Forest?

Without doubt Tyson, he is very pacy and therefore a constant threat, Commons if he is fit could turn a head or two if he is in the mood and not carrying any knocks.

Bennett and Morgan, left back and centre half are two young players that are very strong at the back and will look very commanding at home.

Tyson is the stand out player though, his attitude is spot on, a real pro and a team player as well. Basically give him a chance and he will bury it.

9) Nathan Tyson and Grant Holt both came from League Two earlier this season… How have they coped with the step up?

Tyson as I said erlier is Forest’s dangerman, he is a real crowd favorite already and looks a little raw but has the potential to go a lot higher up the leagues, hopefully withy Forest!

Holt scored and looked very impressive on debut, his form dropped a little until Megson left but he is now looking like striking up a great understanding with Tyson.

Power and pace make these two a good strike partnership. As these two gel they will both score plenty for the team and if we can add another creative player to midfiled they will be even better.

10) What’s the score going to be on Saturday?

I’m going for 2-0 Forest, we are a decent team at home and the side is very confident being unbeaten in three after Megson’s departure. One goal early doors to set it up nicely.

So, there you have it. Thanks to Martin for his time and I’d just like to agree with his answer to question three… The brightest spot in our season since the win at Swansea!

In return, I’ve done a similar service for the Forest site – www.forest.vitalfootball.co.uk – so you can visit there to see what I had to say about the game and our current fortunes!