Essential reading on this weekend's opponents


Nickname: The Reds
Manager: Dougie Freedman
2013-14: 11th
Ground: The City Ground
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 122 miles (2 hours 42 minutes)

Nottingham Forest kept the Sky Bet Championship playoff positions within reach after a comfortable 2-0 win over Rotherham United on Wednesday night.

Goals from Dexter Blackstock and Michail Antonio saw them to their fifth victory in seven matches to continue their improvement under Dougie Freedman.

The Reds are eight points off the top six ahead of their visit to Carrow Road.

“Antonio is the player who most often makes things happen for Forest. At his best, he is unstoppable. He is built like a sprinter and has the pace and power to match,” says Nottingham Post reporter Paul Taylor.

“The way they set up sees a lot of their threat come from midfield. Henri Lansbury, Chris Burke, Ben Osborn and Gary Gardner are all capable of getting goals too.”

Forest lead the head-to-head record between the two clubs, with November’s late 2-1 win at the City Ground their 27th to the Canaries 23.

They have one former Norwich player on their books: Lansbury, who spent part of the 2010-11 Championship promotion-winning campaign on loan at Carrow Road from Arsenal, making 23 appearances.

Forest announced the appointment of Dougie Freedman as manager just an hour after Stuart Pearce was sacked on February 1.

Freedman, a player at the City Ground between 1998 and 2000, agreed a deal to the end of the season with the option of an extension after a summer review.

“He has made things simple again. If Pearce had a fault, it was that he tended to over complicate things and pay too much attention to the opposition,” he added.

“He has certainly done enough to deserve a crack at reviving Forest’s fortunes, but he has also made it clear that he wants to be able to do things on his terms.”

The Scot took his first managerial role at Crystal Palace, initially as caretaker in January 2011 before signing permanently and steering the Eagles clear of relegation that season.

After 19 months at Selhurst Park, he left to take over at Bolton Wanderers in October 2012 but despite guiding them to 7th place finish that season, he left by mutual consent after just one win in ten at the start of this campaign.

As a striker, Freedman scored over 150 league goals across spells with Barnet, Palace, Wolves, Forest, Leeds United and Southend United between 1994 and 2010.

Goalkeepers: Karl Darlow, Dimitar Evtimov, Dorus de Vries.

Defenders: Eric Lichaj, Michael Mancienne, Danny Collins, Kelvin Wilson, Daniel Fox, Jamaal Lascelles, Todd Kane, Jack Hobbs, Ben Osborn.

Midfielders: Chris Cohen (c), Henri Lansbury, Andy Reid, Michail Antonio, Modou Barrow, Gary Gardner, David Vaughan, Chris Burke, Stephen McLaughlin, Jorge Grant.

Forwards: Matty Fryatt, Britt Assombalonga, Lars Veldwijk, Jamie Paterson, Dexter Blackstock.

Nottingham Forest, Saturday March 21, 3pm


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