Forest earn much needed win despite Bendtner injury

Nottingham Forest defeated Gary Rowett’s Birmingham City 3-1 at the City Ground last Friday, despite striker Nicholas Bendtner suffering a suspected ankle injury.

The Danish striker assisted right-back Eric Lichaj, who opened the scoring with a thundering angled shot. Forest’s dominance was further confirmed when Apostolos Vellios made it 2-0, latching onto a Henri Lansbury cross.

Birmingham striker Lukas Jutkiewicz headed a goal back for Blues, but Hildeberto Pereira capped off a fine move to seal victory for the Reds, and restore some confidence for fans after an inconsistent start to the 2016/17 campaign.

“Now 11 games into the season, this victory will provide Forest with a bit of cheer after a difficult period.”

The game had one moment of controversy, when Lansbury had a free-kick disallowed; referee Jeremy Simpson initially awarded a goal, but then changed his mind after conferring with his assistant.

Head Coach Phillipe Montanier said after the game: “I enjoyed the victory. We’ve worked hard during the international break and we applied what we worked on during that period.

“Bendtner’s injury is a bad point of this evening. We don’t know how serious it is. I hope it is not very serious.”

Montanier’s side’s win came hours after owner Fawaz Al Hasawi announced that he is close to selling the club.

Al Hasawi, who has owned the club since 2012, would not reveal the identity of the buyers, but it is understood the the deal will be made with a consortium from the USA. The exact value of the deal is yet to be confirmed.

“With Forest now lying 18th in the table, results have been disappointing and it seems Pereira has paid the price for it.”

Now 11 games into the season, this victory will provide Forest with a bit of cheer after a difficult period of bad results coupled with the recent departure of Director of Football Pedro Pereira.

The Portuguese left the City Ground after less than four months in the role. Pereira impressed Nottingham Forest chairman Fawaz Al Hasawi while at Fiorentina, and it was hoped that his appointment would lead to a more successful transfer strategy that would help the owner realise his ultimate ambition of leading the side back into the Premier League.

With Forest now lying 18th in the table, it seems Pereira has paid the price. When quizzed by reporters on the departure, head coach Philippe Montanier would not give any reasons why Pereira left, and insisted that it had nothing to do with a rumoured fractious relationship between the two.

Montanier also seemed unaware if whether the club planned on installing a new Director of Football, or if the responsibilities will now be handed over to the Frenchman and his staff. The head coach is reportedly keen to play a part in the election process if the club has one, but will also be aware that after this it will be him who is next in the firing line.

Words by Nick Scott

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