Reasons to be Cheerful (Burnley – NFFC Programme Notes)

After defeat to Leicester in the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay, I needed to cheer myself up. It was the kind of performance that made you question why you bothered getting into football in the first place. I searched deep within my soul to find reasons to be cheerful. Once I got going it was easy.

So here are ten reasons to sing loud and proud for the Reds tonight, and for the rest of the season:

SEAN O’ DRISCOLL

The introduction of Sean O’Driscoll (a football purist with a formidable record for getting the best out of his players) as First Team Coach was a very shrewd move indeed. If his achievements at Doncaster Rovers are anything to go by then this move will be a turning point in our season.

He could prove to be the missing piece in the proverbial jigsaw of Championship survival; the ying to Steve Cotterill’s yang! I welcome him, and his football ethos, with open arms.

YOUNG PLAYERS:

Although they are yet to feature heavily on the first team scene, some excellent prospects have recently emerged from the academy.

Patrick Bamford is just one example of the talent that we can look forward to seeing over the next few years. He has already made a name for himself as a natural goal scorer, netting five times during the 9-1 win against Wigan in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup.

PORTSMOUTH:

Portsmouth could well be docked points for failing to pay taxes, dragging them deep into the relegation quagmire. Rumours that a former Pompey manager tipped ‘Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ off are as yet unfounded.

THE BENEFITS OF BEING AT THE BOTTOM:

I’ll freely admit that Forest have been pretty abysmal this season. I’d be a fool not to. However, luckily, you don’t have to be very good to win a relegation battle, because all the other teams you’re fighting against are rubbish as well.

We have only won one of the last ten games and yet we’re still only a couple of wins from safety.

If we were in a promotion battle we’d have to win the majority of our games just to stay in touch with the other teams. That sounds like a lot of unnecessary pressure to me!

HARRY POTTER:

Harry Potter was in a far more precarious situation than we are and he managed to prevail, against all odds. Even in the darkest times there is always hope.

TALENT:

I maintain, as I have done throughout the season, that we still have very talented footballers at this club. It is a source of great frustration to me that the potential of our squad is yet to be actualised this season.

However, it is also a source of encouragement that we have players in our squad whose seasons are yet to truly kick off. There is still a chance for them to be heroes.

LOANING PLAYERS:

The all important Emergency Loan Market could be a saving grace, should we still need players once the transfer window is closed. Loan signings become more important with every Championship season that passes.

It could be one exceptional loan player who helps us to find the cutting edge, which we seem to lack when we’re not playing Ipswich.

THE PLAYOFFS:

At least we won’t have to suffer the heartbreak of the playoffs at the end of the season. I don’t think I could face another year of such anguish. If we’re going to be in the Championship next season we may as well do it in style, surviving on the last day and finishing 21st.

CHRIS COHEN:

If Chris Cohen returns before the end of the season then that in itself will be a reason to celebrate.

He is an absolute model professional and will thoroughly deserve the rapturous applause he’ll undoubtedly receive on his return to action.

I genuinely believe that we wouldn’t be in this mess if Chris Cohen hadn’t been sidelined by injury.

Whether he returns this season or next, we all have something to look forward to when he does. He’d be the heartbeat of any team and it’s no wonder we’ve missed him so greatly. Get well soon Chris!

THE MAIN REASON:

You simply have to!

The fans are the core of any football club. Players, managers, chairmen and owners all move on, but the fans remain … and as such they are the most powerful people at the club.

We have the power to generate an atmosphere; to elevate the players out of their current lull. We have the power to change players’ mindsets and to change games. We have the power to suck the ball into the opposition’s net and to make the City Ground a fortress once more. We are the twelfth man.

At times you might feel like the players, the management or the board don’t deserve our applause or encouragement. This matters not. Do it for selfish reasons; do it because you want Nottingham Forest, bigger and greater than the sum of us all, to succeed.

The survival march is on … if you want it! Come on you Reds!

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