Nottingham Forest fans could be forgiven for forgetting there’s a match to play tomorrow, given the upheaval their club has faced in the last few hours.
Manager Aitor Karanka has gone, leaving them with an uncertain future. It’s thought Simon Ireland and Michael Dawson will take temporary charge of the side against Reading.
They’ve got to keep the squad focused during this tough period, Reading are the sort of side they have to be beating if they harbour top six ambitions, especially with Derby facing table toppers Leeds United.
There could be a one point gap by the end of the weekend, if they put the right XI out against the Royals. This is surely the line up they’ll go with.
There’s going to be no reinventing the wheel this weekend, no big surprises that will set the caretakers apart from their predecessor. They’ll be in the usual 4-2-3-1 set up favoured by many at this level, with the back for settle despite being decimated by injury.
Michael Hefele, Sam Byram and Michael Dawson are all injured, meaning it is a case of ‘as you were’ from the back four that finished 4-2 win against Leeds on New Year’s Day. Ben Osborn came on in that game, with Hefele injured, and he’s likely to start 13th game of the season.
Jack Colback and Claudio Yacob are both on good form right now and will surely protect the back four, especially with full back Jack Robinson filling in at centre half.
Up front, the four players we’ve picked surely pick themselves. Lewis Grabban is a goal machine and he will be crucial to them moving forward in the next few weeks.
Joao Carvalho will start, he’s the club record signing, whilst popular Matty Cash and Joe Lolley make up the trio of players hoping to offer support to 15-goal Grabban.
Forest need a big performance tomorrow, with the players surely keen to show that their preseason billing as promotion contenders is not affected by the change of manager.