Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freeman is hoping his side can find their ruthless streak when they host Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup tomorrow. Forest are unbeaten in their last 8 matches and Freeman is hoping his side can continue that at the City Ground tomorrow.
- Sit 14th in Championship, 10 points off the playoffs and 10 points off relegation
- Home record in league – P12 W5 D4 L3 F16 A11
Freeman was left frustrated at his sides inability to kill off Charlton last weekend where Forest picked up their 10th draw of the season. Freeman spoke to nffc.co.uk post match “in the end we had enough opportunities to get 3 points but it does cement our unbeaten record. Looking over the last 3-4 games I think we could have had more points”.
- Form in Last 8 – W3 D5 – only Middesbrough, Ipswich and Dery have taken more points in that period
- Last 8 at home – DWWWWDDL –
- Last defeat came on 21st November – 2-1 defeat at Brentford
- If the season started at start of November, Forest would sit 8th
Forest took the lead at the Valley but were unable to add to their tally despite Charlton being reduced to 10 men, “We didn’t take advantage of it which was disappointing and is something we need to work on. It is unfortunate that we didn’t take our chances, we had 3 or 4 golden opportunities, if we had taken them we would have won the game but once again we didn’t kill the game off”.
- Failed to score in 7 games, 2 at home
- Scored in their last 7 home games and 8 of their last 9 in all competitions
- Scored once in 13 of their 25 games but only scored 2 or more in 5 games this season
- 5 of their 7 wins by 1 goal and 7 of 8 defeats have been by 1 goal
Chris Cohen made his long awaiting return to first team action after 15 months out with a knee injury coming on in the second half. Freeman stated “he deserves his chance, he has trained very hard over the last 2 to 3 months and it was great to see him back”. Cohen spoke to nffc.co.uk “it was amazing and makes all the hard work worthwhile. It was a long time coming, the reception was amazing”
- Cohen returned after his third cruciate ligament injury of his career
- Initially ruled out for 9 months but after setbacks took 15 months to return
Cohen echoed his managers thoughts on the game “I though we need to be a bit more clinical, we had the chances, overall we were pretty comfortable throughout. Games have been pretty tight but we need to get the second and third to kill teams off”. The midfielder acknowledged that the results “will come with confidence but it is alright saying we will do it we have to do it and is what the manager wants us to do”.
- Only 32% of league matches have been over 2.5 goals
- But 50% of home matches have seen 3 or more goals
Cohen comeback coincides with an injury to left back Daniel Pinillos who ruptured his knee ligaments in the Christmas fixtures. Cohen revealed that “the manager says I won’t play every game, but my idea is to change his mind. Basically I am here to help the team out as much as I can. I have been out 15 months, I will play anywhere”.
- 8 of their 10 draws have been by the score 1-1
- Both teams have scored in 15 of their 25 games in the league
Freeman added former loan signing Gary Gardner from Aston Villa and Slovenian left back Bojan Jovic from Villarreal today. Gardner join after failing to make an appearance for Villa this season but Freeman knows exactly what he is getting from Gary. Speaking earlier today to nffc.co.uk “He is a good player, it was a no brainer to bring him in. He knows how I work and what is required of him here. He is a player who could step right in tomorrow”
- Gardner played 18 times and scored 4 goals in 2014/2015 at Forest
Jovic arrives in Nottingham with 70 caps for his National team and good pedigree having played in both Serie A and La Liga. Jovic is another player signed from the clubs database which Freeman has built up since he arrive at the City Ground. “We’ve built up a recruitment team, it is in place all over Europe with South America next on the agenda”. Freeman revealed that he would rather spend the clubs money on the database than players who pose a higher risk.
- Kept 5 clean sheets with 3 being at home
- Only kept 1 in last 6 games and 2 in their last 5 home matches
- Unbeaten in the 10 matches they have scored first in league this season – W4 D6 and taken 11 points from possible 15 at home
Danny Phillios, Nelson Oliveira and winger Nelson Mendes have all been recruited using the database this season with Freeman revealing that he was front of the queue for them. Freeman still feels that there needs to be a couple of additions behind the scenes but feel that “for the first time ever since I have been here we have competition for places”. He added “there is a mixture of local lads, exciting players from different countries and old fashion English types which is helping us build a team to challenge”
- Forest have progressed past the third round in 2 of the last 5 seasons
- Longest recent run came in 2013/2014 season when they lost to Sheffield United in the fifth round
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s QPR side head to the City Ground still without a win since the Dutchman appointment in December. Rangers have drew 4 and lost 2 in the six games Hasselbaink has managed. The West London side lost late on to Hull City on New Years Day with a mistake from Rob Green gifting the winner for the Tigers.
- League Record – P25 W7 D9 L9 F30 A33
- Away record – P12 W3 D2 L7 F9 A17
- Only 4 teams have taken less points away from home in the Championship
- Taken 5 points from last 27 available away from home
Hasselbaink was left very frustrated with his side conceding a late goal for the fourth consecutive match. Speaking to qpr.co.uk “we didn’t deserve to come away with nothing. I think we matched them really well, we looked alright but we lacked a little bit of belief and confidence”. The Forest manager stated that “concentration needs to be worked on, we need to be longer on the pitch to have concentration in games, the result was hard to take but we have to move on”
- QPR have dropped 6 points in the last 15 minutes of their last 4 matches
- Kept 7 clean sheets, 2 away from home
- Failed to keep a clean sheet in last 5 games
- Only Brentford (37) have conceded more goals in the top 17 teams in the Chamionship
With his side without a win since 3rd December, Hasselbaink understands that his side need to “get the confidence and belief back, we have been hit and at the moment we are a little bit groggy. We are the only ones who can get ourselves out of it”. The R’s sit 16th in the Championship, 11 points off the playoffs, Hasselbaink understands that although the cup provides a distraction for his team, every club should do their best in the competition.
- Failed to score in 8 games, 5 of them away from home
- Have scored in 7 of their last 8 games and scored in last 3 away games
- Only scored 2 or more goals in 1 away game this season
The former Chelsea striker stated “I was fortunate enough as a player to go to two FA Cup finals, I lost both but they were great days, it is an important cup, the most important cup in the world for me; it’s such a special competition” But the Ranger boss hinted at changes to his side so that he can give others a chance. Speaking earlier today to qpr.co.uk “we will try 1 or 2 different faces but still be competitive and make sure we go there looking for the win”
- 7 of 9 defeats have been by just 1 goal
- 5 of 7 wins have been by 1 goal
Striker Jamie Mackie made his comeback against Hull after a 3 month lay off with a hamstring injury and revealed that “it was one of the most frustrating times of his career” but is raring to go once more. Speaking to qpr.co.uk after the defeat to Hull, “It hasn’t gone well for me, I had a bad injury but worked hard on my rehab, 3 months is a long time not to be playing football but I’m back now and I want to have a big end to the season with a big impact”
- Record when scoring first – W5 D4 L3 away – W2 D2 L2
- Only taken 2 points from last 9 available when scoring first
- Lost their last 5 away games when conceding first
- QPR have only 1 win in their last 25 away games concedin first
Mackie knows that despite his side being on a bad run, his side have to turn it around and give something for the fans to be upbeat about.”We need to give them something positive and want to come and watch us play. It is tough at the moment, we are not on a good run but as players we need to stand up and be counted”. Mackie added “When playing well, it is a great place to play but as players we are the only ones who can turn it round”
- Form in last 8 games – W2 D4 L2 F8 A8
- No team in the Championship has led for less minutes (297) than QPR this season
- Have only led for 101 minutes away from home, only Bolton have led for less
Mackie returned to Loftus Road after a spell at the City Ground and acknowledges that his side are desperate for a win when he makes his return their tomorrow. Speaking about his former side “I am desperate to get out there and being against Forest where I know the boys in the changing room. Most importantly we need a win, it’s not in the league”
Despite the change of competition, Mackie knows that the FA cup can release pressure which is on his side when they play in the league, “I was fortunate enough to go on a big FA Cup run last year, it gives the club something to smile about. It gives the lads a difference focus, only the players can turn a performance into a good one. The FA cup gives people the chance to do that with less pressure than the league”
- QPR have only progressed past the 3rd round in 2 of the last 7 seasons (2012/2013 , 2011/2012)
- Have failed to score in the FA cup in the last two seasons
- Have only won 1 of last 6 away games played in the FA Cup
Bojan Jovic and Gary Gardener are both available to play Forest after joining on loan on Friday whilst Chris Cohen will be pushing for an involvement tomorrow afternoon. Forest will still be Andy Reid, Britt Assombalonga, Daniel Pinillos and Matty Fryatt who all remain sideline with injuries.
Rangers are set to include James Perch who has recovered from injury and Ben Gladwin who was recalled this week from his loan spell at Swindon. Goalkeeper Rob Green is set to drop out with Alex Smithies set to deputise in goal.
Head to Head – Forest 27 Draw 19 Lost 15
Last Meeting – 12/09/2015 – QPR 1-2 Nottingham Forest
- Forest have only lost 1 of the last 8 meetings
- 4 of those 8 meetings have been draws
- Queens Park Rangers have never won at the City Ground in 30 attempts
- QPR last win came in 2014 when they beat Forest 5-2 at Loftus Road
Prediction – Forest 2-1 QPR