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Hello. Welcome back to Garabaldi Red, a Nottingham Forest podcast brought to you by Nottinghamshire Life. I'm Max Hayes, your host. And as Forest are still in the FA Cup once again, just with a replay against Bristol City. Another game, another replay to discuss all of that and look ahead to the Arsenal game, which is tomorrow. Hugely anticipated game under the lights. Joined as ever by Sarah Clapson and Reds correspondence, Sarah, guessing the earmuffs kept you warm for the Bristol City game.


I didn't eat them, actually. It wasn't as cold as Blackpool, but it was pretty chilly, so they got another outing.


Yeah, they can do it on a cold night in Blackpool, but not Bristol. Also joined by for the first time on the podcast. So nice to see him, a lifelong Forest fan and someone that always seems to shed positivity on life, Steve. So it's nice to see you on a Monday morning. How are you?


Very good. Thank you, Max. Yeah, looking forward to tomorrow night.


Yes. Big game under the lights. We'll look ahead to that. Yeah, Sarah, let's start with another look back on the FA Cup. It feels like we keep talking about the FA Cup, getting the replay against Liverpool. Another replay, I suppose, what did you make of it from the press box? Watching on the telly wasn't there. It just seemed like first off, we never really got going. Second look better. And the amount of times I jumped off the sofa to celebrate a Forest goal and then it had hit the side there, and it It just always seemed like it was going to be nil-nil from the off, really.


Yeah, I don't think he was alone on that. I think there was a few times where a cheer went up in the away end and it suddenly went, oh, when the realization hit. Yeah, The first half was really flat, really struggled to get much going. Second half was an improvement. It was a pretty low bar to improve on, to be honest, but it did get better. By the end, I think Forrest looked the most likely to have got something, just couldn't nick the goal to avert another replay, but at least they're still in the cup. I think that's the priority. That's the main thing to take away from it. A few positives, I thought. Obviously, the return of Morgan was a big one. And a clean sheet. I know it's not a lot to cling to, but the first one under Nuno, I think is... I mean, he said it was a big step forward. He was really keen to put an emphasis on it and take a lot away from it. And I think it has to be a big confidence booster, particularly for a defense that had been conceding a lot of goals in recent games.


For Matt Turner, I think it should really help him. Two young centrebacks as well, I think they should take a lot from it. So, positives were probably in fairly short supply, but I think there were some.


Yeah, it's hard to pluck out positives often on a Monday morning. That's why we've got Steve on. Steve, I suppose it isn't really ideal given the amount of injuries and players out currently in the sideline list for Forest almost having another replay. But Bristol City made it really tough, didn't they? Just outside the play-offs, they've got a new head coach, and they just showed a bit of fight. It was a potential banana skin, and Forest did avoid it. A replay back at the City Ground, you'd be hoping to win that.


Yeah, I I thought it was okay in the end. I was listening to some Bristol City fans coming away from the game who said that they thought it was one of the best nil-nil draws they'd ever seen. Use the cliché, it was a game of two halves. We didn't look like a team in the first half somehow. There were too many misplaced passes, but I think that probably underestimates quite how good Bristol City were and how hard they were fighting to get through to the following round. And of course, they had beaten West Ham in the third round, so it was never going to be an easy game. It made a huge difference at halftime when he brought on not only Morgan, but I think somebody who is a bit of an unsung hero, and that's Nico Williams, who made a huge difference down the right-hand side. And for me, brings a huge amount of energy to the game and is a tireless worker. If a couple If there were more crosses that he tried to put in that had been successful, then who knows? But it's all part of the tactic, isn't it? To give lots of players runouts before decisions have to be made and to increase the bank balance for the club.


So on that basis, Nuno is doing a great job. I mean, I think he's doing a great job anyway. But if you think of what we could have been faced with when he first came in in terms of January, we could have had one FA Cup game, then maybe another and a couple of league games. And he needs time to understand who there is that he can rely on and to be able to make decisions about players. And okay, the two replays are not ideal and the extended Cup run is not ideal, but he's had that opportunity.


Yeah, definitely. It's a nice point, actually, Steve. Maybe almost in a few weeks, we'll look back at the FA Cup as a bit of a blessing in disguise for Nuno, like you say, to find his players and find his start in 11, What did Nuno seem to think, Sarah? Forest will face Man United after they beat Newport just yesterday. So it'll be another home tie against Man United. And that's seven times now. I mean, this is obviously if we beat Bristol City, but seven times we'll play Man United in the past two years. And we went all that time without playing them in the Championship and praying for them in the FA Cup. And it seems like we could have them again. But what did Nuno seem to think in his press conference?


I think he'll appreciate the fact that it's a home tie. He'll know that there's a replay to get through first, I'm sure. And his focus will be on Arsenal, first of all. I know that he's very much a not looking too far ahead manager. So he'll be really keen to get a good result against Arsenal on Tuesday night. And then obviously another league game after that, but then the replay as well. He's made his position on replays clear already. He's not a huge fan of them. So I think he would be a bit frustrated that he's got another one to have to get through, but he really appreciates the FA Cup. He really sees it as an important competition and a special competition. It means a lot to him. He knows it means a lot to Forest. He knows how important it is to the club's history. He wants to go far in it. He wants a good Cup run because it can help build momentum, because it can help players get to know each other, develop relationships. More games, more game time can only He'd be beneficial. And he wants to go far. He knows what it's like.


He's been there with Walsh, had a really good cup run with them. He wants to experience it again. So he'll be looking at the league games first. But when the replay comes around, He'll want to win it. And then touch wood, if Forest gets through, he'll be looking at the next FA Cup game and at home, at the city grounds. I'm sure he'll see it as a big game, a tough game, if it comes to pass. But But one, he'll be looking forward to.


Do you think Steve, often the FA Cup, it's talked about a lot in the 21st century modern day football about it not having that magic. But for teams like Forest, it helped us in the promotion winning season to have that momentum on and off the pitch with Cooper and what that provided for the club in terms of TV revenue and things like that. Will Nuno be seeing this as a stay in the cup? And it helps us give momentum to go into the league, given how tough the league will be with a possible point deduction upcoming?


I'm old enough to remember the glamor of the FA Cup and the early days of the FA Cup when it was everything, when you'd spend all Saturday watching, whether it was, I suppose, originally BBC coverage and watching the players arrive and all that stuff. I don't think it has the same glamor and appeal as that anymore because there is so much football and because there's so much football on TV. But I think what it's given him is so far two extra games, because we'd have played the Blackpool game anyway, two extra games to look at the squad and look at the players. And for us, that's absolutely invaluable for a new manager coming in when he came in. I mean, look at Mangala, who seemed to have disappeared from the squad when he first came in. And now, I mean, I read all sorts of stuff, and Sarah will know much better than me, that Forest had now decided to keep him. Based on how he played on Friday night and how he's played in the last couple of games, personally, I'm delighted about that. And that wouldn't have happened maybe without the FA Cup.


So I think it's that trophy we've not won since '59, isn't it? Goodness me. I was there in '91 for the Gasco in final. It would be fantastic to have an FA Cup run. It would be incredible to get to Wembley to get to the FA Cup final. And clearly, Nuno relies on it as an important competition. So let's get behind him, get behind the club, get behind the players, and do whatever we can, not only when the replay is on, what is it, February the seventh, if we win that. And then a fascinating tie at home against Man United, which will also, both of those games, will bring in more revenue for the club at a time when we, but all clubs, need the absolute maximum amount of revenue. So for me, it's a very positive thing.


Yeah. Let's stay on the positive, Sarah. You mentioned that about Morgan Gibbs-White just a bit ago, and him back on the pitch, how vital he is. You watch him when he comes on, and he just seems to give so much more freedom and creativity to even his teammates on the pitch. The fans were lifted and Nuno confident when he comes on. How important is he for Forest and will be for the rest of the season?


Huge. Absolutely huge. I'd probably go so far as to say he's the most important player in the squad. I would have had that tag on Tywo, but while he's been out, Chris Wood, I think, has stepped up. But with Morgan out, he's only missed, I think it's a couple of games. It feels like longer because he just makes such a massive difference. Others have provided a bit of creativity. And I think Dominguez has done pretty well in his absence, playing in a different role. But nobody really has that magic that Morgan Gibbs-White brings. I think Alanga is also really important. He's made a big impact since coming in. And I think Forrest missed his pace and his willingness just to run and get at defenders. Callum Hudson-Odoy is still, I think he's getting there. He's showing signs of progress. I think there's still a lot more to come from him, but it's easy to forget that he's had a tough few years, really, and he's still trying to get back to the form that he showed earlier on in his career when he looked like such a huge prospect, whereas Morgan has just gone from...


He's just taken step after step, and he's just integriable to the way that Forrest played. Having him back makes such a massive difference. And even when he's having a quiet game, he's still capable of coming up something, popping up with something. He's been scoring goals, which is something he needed to add more to his game. He started to get that under Nino. That different playing in his preferred role, I think, has been hugely beneficial for him. And we're seeing what he's capable of seeing the best of him. I think within maybe 10 minutes of coming on, Bristol City set up a chance for Chris Wood and put a ball in. And Chris would probably could have done a little bit better with it, but it just shows the difference that he made. And having him back is going to be so important, particularly for Tuesday night, which is a really tough game. But you go into it feeling a bit more confident or hopeful, maybe, with Morgan on the pitch because he just makes such a massive difference.


Yeah, Arsenal haven't won in their last three visits, I think it is, to the city ground. I've got written down here, so it'll be an interesting one for sure. We'll touch on that in a moment. Steve, I suppose Sarah mentions there about Taewo and Chris Wood. When Taewo is fully fit, do you think that he'll slot straight back into the squad? But this is a player that hasn't played under Nuno yet, albeit Nuno will have seen him in training. What do you think for a bit of almost continuity and finding his start in 11 and sticking with it, Chris Wood might actually start the few games that when Taewo is fit and Taewo comes off the bench potentially.




It's a difficult question on a Monday morning.


What question?


No, What would I do? I mean, Nuno will do what Nuno will do, thing, but what would I do? I think I would, and I'll probably get harassed for this, I would stick with Chris Wood, initially, and I'd put Tywo on the bench because If you ever wanted a player to really step up and perform, not only for himself but the team, since Nuno came, that player is Chris Wood. The term prolific is used too much, isn't it? But at the moment, he is one of the most prolific goal scorer associated with the Premier League. So yes, Taewo has a previous record, and we were playing probably in a slightly different way. But How does Chris Wood get dropped? Because he may not always be the most popular player amongst the fans, but spend some time just watching him, looking at his runs, looking at his work rate, looking at how much grass as he covers, looking at how he gets himself into goal poaching situations, which is a ridiculous thing to say after his couple of goals at New Castle. But he's actually a really good player, and he's beginning to demonstrate Perhaps why Steve Cooper wanted him.


Now, on the back of that, what would it do for his confidence? And Sarah talked about Callum Hudson Adoy's confidence. What would it do for Chris Wood's confidence if... Oh, Tywo is fit, We'll put him back in the 11 straight away. Thanks ever so much, Chris. We'll put you on the bench. What strikes me about Nuno is we always applauded Steve Cooper about his man management and the way that he interacts with the players. Nuno strikes I'm not going to be very personal in that department. So he's going to, I would think, look at how we get the best performance out of all the players as individuals in order to build them as a team. Very long winded answer to your question, but it wasn't an easy question. So I'd stick with Chris Wood. I'd I'd bring Tywa on the bench. In a game, I'd bring Tywa on after, I don't know, 70 minutes or something like that. And there may be games where tactically we need to bring Tywa on instead, but I wouldn't bring him in straight away. But many people might disagree with that based on what Tywa has done in the past.


Yeah, maybe Nuno will have you in as his new assistant.


Well, if you listen to this podcast, Max, you'll be honored. So there we go.


Exactly. Sarah, don't worry. I won't ask you the same question as I've just asked Steve. I'll let you have another one. When we talk about key players and players that have done so much for Forest recently, and Steve touched on that, Nico Williams being a bit of an unsung hero. Wanted to touch on Andrew Omabaladele, who seems to be becoming a bit of a regular starter now on the new now. I mean, I've been really impressed with him. Don't know about you, Sarah, but he just seems to bring something a bit different. And that partnership, him and Marillo have seemed to have struck up in recent games. He's done Forest Wonders.


Yeah, I think Friday night, he did really well, Omabaleadele. I thought he was one of the best players. Looked really composed and confident, made a few really big clearance And Marillo perhaps didn't have the best of games. He seems to have had a little dip in form, at least compared to earlier in the season when he first broke through. But Omu Bamadele has done really well. Obviously got that goal on his debut at Blackpool and has held down his place. It's going to be interesting to see what happens when Willy Bolley and Nia Khate come back from Afcon, what Nino sees as his best partnership going forward for the rest of the season then. But same, I guess, with Tau, you have to have that competition. You have to have players earning their place in the team. I'm probably contradicting what I said about Morgan now, but you can't have players just walking straight into the side and knowing they're guaranteed a starting spot. You've got to have them knowing that they need to put in a performance and continuously put in good performances to keep their place in the team. At the minute, Omabamidali is holding his own.


I think he's generally done pretty well. It's just the goals conceded that was maybe a bit of a concern given there had been so many in a run of games. But that clean sheet, as Nuno said, has to be a big step. It has to give everybody in the team, particularly the defense, a lot of confidence and a lot of belief. Important to build on it now, easier said than done going into a game against Arsenal, I know. But if you wanted to have something positive to look at going into Tuesday night, then that's got to be it. Shutting out Bristol City side that really went for it and really wanted to do well in that game.


Yeah. And a positive being that clean sheet for Matt Turner as he gets ready to face his former club tomorrow. Steve, it's an interesting one with Turner. The constant criticism must just completely knock his confidence, but almost the constant mistakes. So this clean sheet in a way, albeit people will look at it as a very small positive, perhaps, but it could do wonders going into such a huge game tomorrow night.


Blimey. Are you going to throw me all the curveballs? Thank you.


Sorry, Steve.


Can we just go back to the defense a minute? I think However you say his name, and I get it wrong every time, so I'm not going to even try. Am I right in thinking he was captain at Norwich?


I think he did captain them.




When you see him next time, just watch him on the pitch. He's always talking to the defenders around him. He's almost as though he's acting like a captain. He was constantly talking to Murillo on Friday night. He was constantly talking to the rest of the defense and players around him. And I think given In time, he could become a really good player, even better than he's showing on the back of what three, four games so far. And a clean sheet will give them confidence, and he was a major part of that. In terms of Matt Turner, it's a really difficult one for me. I think one thing we don't talk about, and I'd like to take a couple of minutes, if I may, is how difficult it is for players to move clubs, to move countries, to go into a different team, not only for them, but their families and everything else. And I don't think that this is something that ever gets talked about and certainly ever considered. So you take Matt Turner out of Arsenal second team reserves or whatever. He hadn't played. You bring him into Forest, you put him in the first team.


He's relocating. His family relocating. He's got to get used to new teammates. And yes, his kicking is not as good as Bryce Sambas was, but he's a good shot stopper. And Roy Kean will say, Yeah, but that's his job. Well, it is his job, but he is a good shot stopper. I think For somebody like Turner, and goodness be probably for all players, it's about confidence. I thought he looked better on Friday night at Bristol City. He wasn't perfect, but he looked better. The passes that were given to him didn't put him in as difficult situations as they had in previous games. But guess what? That comes from getting used to playing with players. So if you keep switching the keepers in and out and the defense going, 'Oh, yeah, it's 'Now it's this guy, now it's this guy, right. ' 'This guy likes it on his left foot in that position. ' 'This guy likes it on his right foot in that position. ' Sometimes when you're under pressure, a player isn't going to think about that. So is Matt Turner, for me, a long term answer, probably Probably not. But I think there's an awful lot more that he can do to improve.


And I would hope that with time and with coaching, his distribution will get better. I don't think his distribution is shocking, as many people in the crowd will say, and quote, as the guy said behind me, I don't think he's the worst goalkeeper Forrest have ever had in ever, which is absolute rubbish. But when you're getting that abuse off the terraces and all the stuff that's happening on social media, which, yeah, these These guys can't avoid, can they? Then perhaps a little bit more support for him as an individual and a little bit more understanding for what players have to go through might help them. So I would stick with him. I mean, unless we're going to buy somebody and Sarah will know better than I, unless we're going to suddenly come up with a goalkeeper in the next two and a half days, or three days or whatever it is, then give him the vote of confidence, put him in the team, tell him he's the number one and stick with him. I do think he's better than the guy we picked up from Ben Fika. And again, I can't pronounce his surname either.




Thank you, Blackadimos. And beyond that, we don't really have much of a choice. So I'd stick with Turner. Tomorrow is a big test because he'll be up against old teammates, but maybe he'll want to prove a point. And imagine if we keep a clean sheet tomorrow, imagine if it's a nil-nil draw tomorrow. I mean, that's another point, but another clean sheet will be fantastic. So I'd stick with him. Are you going to ask me to pick the other nine players as we go through the rest of the time?


It's all right, Steve. I promise you.


We're going to get Turner, Wood, and Gibbs, White. There's only eight more to go, Max.


I promise I won't throw another curve for it. That's your finish for today. Sarah, it's been reported the last few days that we are stilling in for a goalkeeper despite all the financial difficulties we find ourselves in off the pitch. Do you think the club will get another goalkeeper in? Do you think Matt Turner, as Steve said, he's probably not the long term plan?


Well, it seems they've had a change of heart. The information we got not so long ago was that it wasn't a position they were looking to strengthen. I think that was before the Brentford game. They were planning to stick with Matt Turner and Blackadimos as the number one and number two for the rest of the season. It seems like there's been a bit of a U-turn and a few names are being considered. Whether any of them get over the line and whether any of them get done, I guess, is a different matter. But it certainly seems to be an avenue that the club are exploring again. I'd agree. I'd stick with Matt Turner personally. I'm not sure bringing in another goalkeeper at this moment in time is the right answer. Given that other areas need strengthening as well, given that budgets are pretty tight and it's disruptive. Having already had two goalkeepers come in and out, to then go through a third when it's not necessarily forced upon you. I think it's different if it's injury related or if it's suspension, something like that. But to have it as a choice, personally, I would prefer to stick with Matt Turner.


And I think he does an okay job. Yes, he has flaws his game and there are areas that he really needs to improve on, but he does make some decent saves. We'll have to wait and see, I guess, what happens in the final days of the window. I suspect there'll be a few twists and turns to come on that front. But if another keeper comes in, it's so important to get the right one and not have Another temporary solution. I think that's key as well. Obviously, last season, two loan goalkeepers came in, and then Forrest were left in the position in the summer, where they brought in Matt Turner and Blackadimus on permanent deals, hoping that that or seeing that as the longer the same solution. They've obviously not decided or changed their minds a little bit on that now, but if somebody comes in, it has to be as a number one for long term then, because constantly chopping and changing that position, I'm not sure is the right answer or is the right way forward.


If we look at the stats, Matt Turner has got a saved percentage of 66.2 %. He ranks 15th in the Premier League compared to all the goalkeepers. I'd be tempted to change if somebody else was out there, but that's me being different on a Monday morning. You're allowed to be different. Yeah, exactly. Steve, I won't- Just make a comment.


I think we need to be careful, don't we? Because if If Matt Turner makes a big mistake, it probably costs us a goal. If you think of, I can't remember which game it was when Marillo came charging out of defense, took the ball forward against Liverpool, lost the ball, Liverpool attacked, And Liverpool scored. Now, there was no great outcry about Marillo for weeks and weeks and weeks. There was perhaps the day afterwards. But even Friday night, Danilo tried stuff that didn't always came off, that didn't always come off and made some mistakes. Every player makes mistakes. Every player's distribution is not perfect. The one player who we probably would put above all of them, as Sarah said earlier, is Gibbs White. So we're not Liverpool, we're not Man City, where we suddenly go, Okay, we've got this international performing top of the game. They're slightly below the best. We'll bring in another international performing top of the game. We are 15, 16, 17, whatever we're going be in the Premier League for a reason, because this is our second season. So I just think we need to, as a group of fans and a group of supporters, we need to just consider for a moment where we actually are, what we've achieved, and look at the...


As you said earlier, try and look at the positives, as opposed to always go, 'Oh, well, Mccterner has not done this, ' or 'Toffalo has not done this, ' or 'Gibbs White gave the ball away there, ' or 'Dinillo gave the ball away, ' or or some of the abuse I was hearing on Friday night about Hudson Adoy. We all want to stay in the premiership. We all want the club to grow and develop, and who knows where the club will go in a few years time. Wouldn't It'd be exciting if we were challenging for Europe, which would match, I guess, the ownership's ambitions. These things take time. Matt Turne has been with us since when? August. The season started end of August. So we've played 21 league games. That's not a lot of time, and he's not played all those games. That's not actually a lot of time for somebody to really bed in, get to know all their other teammates, understand how the people around them are playing, and develop a style that works for everybody. And we've now had a change of manager, which is changing the style of play. Some would argue for the better because it's producing more exciting, more forward-flowing football.


But I I think time is a great thing if we need... We just need to be a bit more patient.


Yeah, interesting. Positive. One more player that Forest aren't going to be patient with. Reports came out last night from sky, actually, that Forrest is set to terminate the loan. Avdi Vahkarige, no real contributions. I can think off off the top of my head, no goals. I think a real probably disappointment, Sarah. You'd probably argue with Avdi Vahkarige when he signed. Everyone was quite excited and optimistic about him?


Yeah, I don't think he's made the impact that it was hoped he would. I guess, injury and not probably getting starts under his belt hasn't helped. He's mostly been restricted to coming off the bench for a few minutes here and there and trying to get into games, which isn't easy. Forest need goal scourers, they need goal threat, and that's an area they are looking to improve on. To then free up a bit of space and free up a bit of the wage bill, I I guess, is they have to move players on, they have to move players out. I think we'll see more exits than then then incomings in the next few days. And Origi is someone that hasn't really got going. He came in and I think he got a decent experience, decent previous experience, and just didn't really happen for him. And sometimes you get that. Not every transfer, not every signing is going to work out. I think probably a move to the MLS looks likely for him now. And Forest will look to bring in goal threat from elsewhere.


Yeah, there's a few players linked. The one that's been talked about a lot is Gio Rina from Dortmund, a tacky midfielder. Anything more on that, Sarah, or is that just been links? Nothing substantial, I'm guessing yet.


I think it's one that's probably going to... I think a few of them are maybe going to go to the wire. I think we're going to see a busy end. I think there's a few clubs in for him and trying to win that particular race, as with a lot of transfers, isn't easy. It's such a quiet window in general. And then it gets to the end and you'll find that a lot of clubs are looking at similar players and wanting similar areas to strengthen. And then you'll get a big rush. And it's who wins the race for those players. But the law of playing in the Premier League is He's a pretty big one, I think, and how much that counts for, I guess we'll find out in the next few days.


Yeah, I was planning on having a quiet Wednesday on the 31st, but it might be a bit of a busier one. You never know, we might have to do some podcasts if Forest decides to go on a mad spending spree. Again, I suppose, Steve, before we touch on the Arsenal game and possibly what people are calling a bit of a season-defining week for Forest with a big game and then the January transfer window We're closing. When you look at the players you've already got in the squad and the players that will be back from injury soon, Alanger, obviously, Morgan will most likely start tomorrow. That's got to be exciting. Surely that's got to be a real positive because you look at the way Alanger and Morgan were playing with each other, the link up between them two, the balls that were feeding into Chris Ward. And hopefully that almost gives Hudson Adoy a bit more confidence as well, because as you touched on earlier, he's a player that's lacked a bit of confidence recently.


Yeah, I think you didn't mention all the players who will come back from Afcom at various stages. So I looked at the team on Friday night and you think, okay, the bench is a bit not bear, but is it really? Because then you've got another six players to come in and Elanga to come back and Taewo to come back, so that's another eight players. We have, I think, potentially a pretty good squad of players. And certainly a squad that I think is at a higher level than we had last year. Now, they need to gel. They need to be able to play together. And through injuries and absences and change of style and all that stuff, that probably hasn't happened. And we've got, what is it, 16, 17 games to play to secure our Premier League future, which for me, there are at least three, possibly four or five teams in the league who are worse than us. And I know we're going to get on to probably potential points deductions, but even with those points deductions, I still think there are three, four, five teams who are still worse than us. And the league is such, isn't it?


As we showed over Christmas, you only need to put a couple of wins together and all of a sudden, smiles go on faces. You start breathing easier, you start looking forward as opposed to looking back. And the Cup run, again, will help that. Let's assume, and it's not absolutely not a guarantee, but let's assume that we do scrape past Bristol City on the seventh in extra time and penalties or whatever, but we get to play the Man United tie. It's another exciting stage for the club back in the fifth round. I'm getting ahead of myself, I know, but there are players to come back. And I think we've got a good squad. I think the manager has settled in well, so I'm pretty optimistic of the future. Tomorrow night, I don't think it's season-defining. I think it's more season-defining for Arsenal, to be honest. If they were to come to the city ground and lose, how on earth are they going to catch not only city, but also Liverpool? So they'll have the pressure that they'll feel they'll have to win, and they're going to side near the relegation zone, back Cling for survival and all this, no offense, Sarah, newspaper jargon.


But if we were to get a draw, I think we'd be very happy with that. A goalless draw would be fantastic. If you know the clean sheet, If we pinch a win or Chris Wood goes and scores another hat-trick, then fantastic. It will be a great occasion. But I don't think this week's season-defining in that sense.


I'm sure you've already bought your hotel, Steve, for for the FA Cup final?


Not yet, but my kids live down there, so I'm sure I can find a floor to sleep on.


Sarah, let's look ahead to tomorrow. Big night under the lights. Big night under the lights. First home game since the news of this possible point deduction. So I'm imagining a huge city-ground atmosphere. I'm not going to say easy game because it really isn't. But But often Forest seem to do well against the worst teams, if that makes sense.


Yeah. It's a huge game. It's just exciting, I think, these games, particularly Tuesday night, under the lights. Big game against Arsenal. Really exciting. I think if you look at Nuno's game so far, what's really encouraging is But Forrest have been in all of them. They might not have always got a result from them, but they've competed and they've held their own. And then obviously, there's the big wins that came against Newcastle and Man United. So there's a lot of positive to take going into it. There's a lot of encouragement to take going into it. It doesn't make it any easier. It's not necessarily going to be... It's certainly not going to be a walking the path. I think we can probably say that much. But if Forrest wants to go into it with any belief, then They've got a lot to look back on and a lot to take going into it because you've got those games. You've got to go into them believing you can get something, feeling that you can compete with the opposition, feeling that you deserve to be there, and really having a go. Nuno seems to do that anyway. He seems to approach these games in the right way.


I think it's going to be a really interesting game, really exciting. Going to be interesting to see what it goes with his starting lineup, whether he sticks with a similar formation or looks to tweak things a little bit. He is restricted because of lack of options at the moment. He can't really make too many changes. He's already said that Morgan is going to start. He said that as soon as he came off on Friday night, and he quickly touched a wooden table to make sure he hadn't cursed him with any after effects from the 45 minutes that he put in. But barring any really bad after effects from Friday night, Morgan is going to be in the starting 11. And then it's building around him. Interestingly, what he does, though, whether he sticks with mangala in the ace as midfield, maybe brings Nico Williams in, because like we said earlier, he did really well, I thought, when he came on. Adds a bit of energy. I mean, it's good bringing him off the bench because he has those fresh legs and he can really stretch a defense that might be tiring. So he's a good option to have.


But I'd never be tempted to start him because he's been really encouraging. Harry Toppolo, probably come in for Taveras. Obviously, can't play against his parent club. So That's one change that pretty straightforward, I think. I think Harry Toppolo could feel a little bit hard done by anyway, missing out on the last couple of games. I think he's been doing really well. So Yeah, I can't see there being too many changes, but I think Forest are going to have a go. And that's really what you want in these games. A big night under the city ground lights, great atmosphere. You never know.


Yeah, you just never know. You just never know. Exactly.


I wonder if you say that, Max.


Yeah. Steve, I suppose when we look at tomorrow's game, and as you mentioned there, it being almost a bit season-defining for Arsenal because of their recent poor run of form, is this the right time to play them in a way? And also, Arsenal will probably be thinking another trip to the city ground, another game that's big for them, big atmosphere. You look at last season, you look at the Cup games, we always just seem to get something against Arsenal at the city ground. Go away to the Emirates and we'll be spank three, four, nil. But at home, we seem to do really well against them.


Yeah, I don't think it's a bad time to I like them. I mean, they're not... I mean, Arsenal are a good side. They've got really, really good players, let's be fair. But it's interesting, isn't it? It took Arteta three, three and a half years to get to the stage where he's built that team as he wants them to play with the players that he wants. And it's unusual for clubs to give managers that amount of time because certainly he was under threat a number of times during those three years. But there is something quite exciting, isn't it? About putting one over Michal Arteta somehow. So it's a fascinating game. I have no idea how to call it. It could go either way. But I think as Sarah has touched on, Nuno is changing the style so we want to go to win games. We're not going to sit back and try and eke out and a draw or something like that. We're always going to try and win the games. And he seems absolutely intent on that and has been throughout his seven games he's played so far. So it will certainly be an exciting night.


And wouldn't it be fantastic If we came away with three points and then went into Bournemouth at the weekend with even more confidence, because that's not an easy fixture either. But in some sense, that's probably harder than playing Arsenal at home, because there's some things you can get You can guarantee on with Arsenal home. You can get them riled, you can get the crowd behind you. If you get Arsenal riled, it will get the crowd behind you even more. And the players will thrive on that environment and that atmosphere. And as we always talk about, the city ground on a winter's evening under the lights is just fantastic. So let's look forward to it.


Yeah, let's look forward to it indeed. And fingers crossed, the weather's all right for the Bournemouth game. We'll touch on that next week, Sarah. I've made you look at your headphones.


It's not too windy, the windy backs and the stands falling down or something like that.


I'm glad you said that, Steven, and not me. Sarah, I suppose to Mora's game. I always tend to think on a night game, as Steve said, majestic, under the lights, big atmosphere, as well as the crowd being up for it. Do you think Nuno will be telling the players as a bit of a... Almost He's in this point's deduction as a stage mentality, go out there and it's us against the world in a way.


I think at the minute, he's not protecting them from it, but he's not focusing on it. You certainly said, We're not thinking about that at the minute because we don't know what's going to happen. And he's right. And he's probably a bit different behind closed doors. And I'm sure you can't get away from it. The players will know what's going on. They know what the possibilities are and what might happen. But Nuno's job is to To get them to block all that noise out and to just do their job on the pitch. Because if they're even half thinking about, oh, gosh, if we lose this game and then we're maybe going to get points deducted, then the nerve's set in and you start getting a bit fearful. And we've seen that earlier in the season. And that's not the way that Nuna wants to play. It's not the way that he wants to approach games or the season in general. So the message from him so far has been, we're not even thinking about it, wait and see what happens. And it's one at the minute where I guess that's easy for him to do at the minute because he's right.


Nobody knows just yet what the possible punishment is going to be. So For the time being, he can tell his players, look, forget about it. Don't concentrate on it. Yeah, you're aware of it. But hey, look, we've got this big game coming up, first of all. And we then we've got another one. And then we've got another big FA Cup replay. So let's not even talk about that. Let's just go out and do our jobs. I think it's a fairly good message to have at this point, cross that bridge when it comes, when Forrest find out a bit more about the situation and when it becomes clearer. For the time being, it's just a case It's such a cliché, and I'm sure Nuno is aware of it when he says it, but it's just focus on the football for now.


Yeah, indeed. Focus on the football. Steve, I suppose just finally then to close the whole financial fair play situation. You agree with Sarah there, focus on the football and time will tell whether Forest will be deducted any points, really?


Completely. I mean, it's the Dave Bracegirdle approach, isn't it? To team sky and everything else, control the controllables. And at the moment None of us know, people within the club may know what may or may not happen, but it's all speculation. So yes, everyone's anticipating that we might get a points deduction and you could have... There'll be a thousand and one different thoughts out 's there about how many points. ' But until something actually happens, it hasn't happened. And so all we can do as a club is... All we can do as fans is support the club and support the players. Encourage the club and the players to get as many points on the board as possible, perform as well as possible, and what will happen will happen. We can't speculate. I mean, people will speculate about it, but we can't We can't control it. We can't do anything about it. What we can control and do stuff about is making sure that tomorrow night and every other game is that we're fully behind the players on the pitch, whoever they are, and we're encouraging the players as fans as much as possible to put in a great performance, because that's what Nuno and the players will all be trying to do.


If they make mistakes and something doesn't quite work out, hey, that's life. But the more that that happens and the more that the players can perform and we can amass points, then a potential conversation about a points deduction becomes almost irrelevant.


I think that's a nice note to finish on, Steve. Thank you for your positivity this morning. I feel like you've turned my Monday into a Friday.


Any time, Max.


Sarah, thank you. Are you sticking with the earmuffs tomorrow? I don't even know what...


They don't get packed away until June, Max, and then they come back out in August. So There's only a small window where they're not in my bag.


British weather for you. Right. That does us nicely. Thanks, Sarah. Thanks, Steve. As always, thanks for tuning in to Garri Paul de Red. A little bit of a shout out. We did a bit of a preview that we released yesterday morning on a brand new fan park coming to Nottingham. It launches for the Forest Arsenal game. So tomorrow, be sure to get down there. You might see my ugly mug on the big screen as well. So I hope that doesn't frighten people to not come. Leave us a review. If you do enjoy the podcast, as always, we will see you next time. Here's hoping for a Forest win under the lights tomorrow. See you next time.