With three precious points on the line at Rotherham on Saturday, Nottingham Forest rather fluffed their lines.

To put it mildly.

Plenty of less sensitive assessments have been offered by a legion of disgruntled Reds followers.

The general consensus is that the wrong approach was taken at the New York Stadium.

Whatever your gripe may be – selection, tactics, changes etc – holes aplenty have been picked in a disappointing 90-minute showing.

Enough to suggest that play-off aspirations have now tumbled out of whatever was holding them up.

Emotion, of course, will always spill out on the back of such a showing.

A top-six finish was there to be shot at.

With relegation-threatened opponents next on the agenda.


(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Belief and positivity were the order of the day.

Both were sadly lacking.

Martin O’Neill has, however, told the Nottingham Post that he set his side up to have a go against the Millers.

He said on the back of a 2-1 reversal: “We did have attacking intent, absolutely. We had to go for these things, because we are at the stage where we have to gamble.

“We also wanted to take some risks as well. Last weekend, when [Lewis] Grabban played on his own, I did not think that we created enough.”

The answer to that was to partner Grabban with Daryl Murphy in a front two.

The former recorded his 17th goal of the season, the latter drew a blank for the 20th time in his 22 appearances.

Joao Carvalho saw only 14 minutes off the bench, alongside the potential of Arvin Appiah, with Pele the first man turned to in the second half.

Intent? Gamble?

If that is considered to be having a flutter, then the stakes need to be raised.

Forest had little to lose against Rotherham, but potentially everything to gain.



Already outside of the top-six pack, a few risks needed to be taken in order to become upwardly mobile.

With the benefit of hindsight, not enough were taken.

The Reds needed to be looking to win big.

Roll the dice and see what happens.

If your numbers don’t come up, so be it.

Don’t die wondering.

That had been the message coming out of the camp prior to a trip to South Yorkshire.

Actions, though, speak louder than words.

Forest had been favourites but their ‘gamble’, on what was Grand National day, proved to be more Kitten Tumble than Tiger Roll.