Steve McClaren has suggested that Nottingham Forest are not as good as West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United, as the race for promotion from the Championship hots up.
West Brom and Leeds continue to lead the way in the Championship, with the latter sitting five points clear of third in second place after a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough in midweek.
The chasing-pack have somewhat tailed off in recent weeks, but wins for Fulham and Forest in midweek have kept their automatic promotion dream alive.
Forest have already played Leeds and West Brom both twice this season, picking up four points against the Whites and salvaging a last-minute point against the Baggies at the Hawthorns a fortnight ago.
Can you get full marks on this Forest quiz?
Speaking on Sky Sports News (February 26th, 10:27am), McClaren has suggested that Forest are not as good with the ball as the top-two are, and ultimately, are likely to fall short of automatic promotion.
He said: “That worries me a bit little bit because that’s kind of all Forest are. I think they are more than that, they can play more football. The likes of West Brom, Leeds can do both.
“They can keep possession, but also cannot keep possession, defend and also in transition. They have got everything, but Forest are a bit one way to win, and they are doing it very well, they are getting results.”
Forest sit six points off the automatic promotion places after a 1-0 win at Cardiff City on Tuesday night – Sabri Lamouchi’s side face struggling Middlesbrough at the Riverside next Monday.
I think it’s unfair of McClaren to make this comparison to be quite honest.
Forest have proved that they can mix and match with the best sides in the league, and barring an opening-day defeat to West Brom, they are unbeaten against both the top-two.
They might not play the style of football that Leeds and West Brom do, but they are an organised, well-drilled unit who are very hard to beat, which is often more important than anything else.