You’d be forgiven for thinking the Championship table was upside down, with second from bottom Nottingham Forest playing host to third placed Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.
Steve Cotterill masterminded an excellent performance at the City Ground as Nottingham Forest ran out 2-0 winners over previously unbeaten Middlesbrough. The new manager had been in charge for just 48 hours before giving the Reds their first home win of the season.
It was an inspired performance from the players, particularly Chris Gunter, who was moved from his usual right back position to a much more attacking role on the right wing. Lewis McGugan, Joel Lynch and Guy Moussi also impressed for Forest as they dominated Middlesbrough from start to finish.
Forest’s first goal came from an excellent team move just before half time, with Chris Gunter finding enough space to slide the ball across the Middlesbrough penalty area and allow Marcus Tudgay to tuck it away from six yards out.
After the break, Middlesbrough brought on Alex Nimely, who is on loan from Manchester City, in order to find an equaliser. Despite the visitors starting the second-half with a great amount of gusto, they were unable to snatch and equaliser.
Halfway through the second half it was up to Lewis McGugan to sure up the victory with a superb solo effort. Forest never looked like losing their lead and finished the match clear and deserved winners over a lacklustre Middlesbrough side.
Since the final whistle, stories have emerged that Forest’s owner Nigel Doughty has put the club up for sale. It would be an awful shame if the club were to be sold and reshuffled after such an encouraging start from the new manager. There have been rumours that a Chinese-USA consortium are interested in purchasing the club, which Doughty will no doubt value higher than his initial £11million investment.
Nonetheless, there is still a great deal of insecurity at the City Ground in what the fans are terming the “soap opera season”. The players however can draw a lot of confidence from their first home win of the season and, regardless of what happens behind the scenes, continue to perform on the pitch and rise up the Championship table.