Nottingham Forest Pre-Season Round Up #FM16

Pre Season 2016-2017 (Training Camp Holland )

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We have started pre season with a visit to Switzerland for a match against FC Basel, we take a full squad minus Nélson Oliveira who is away on International duty with Portugal. It’s good to see Britt Assombalonga back with us after a lengthy injury that limited him to 6 substitute appearances before keeping him out for a 2nd spell, he is back with us and still a few days away from fitness but it’s good to see him amongst the squad.

I picked the following XI for the game playing our usual 4-2-3-1 system.
GK Evtimov
RB Lichaj *Byram 64
BPD Hobbs
BPD Mancienne
LB Jokic *Pinillos 45
DLP Ebecillo
RPM Osborn
RW Paterson
LW Samaras
TRQ Clough *Michu 69
CF Muto *Ward 75

FC Basel 0-0 Nottingham Forest
We performed well and dominated the game but couldn’t finish our chances, We played Muto up top with Clough in the Trequartista role. Overall it was a good performance against a strong perennial Champions League club. On to the plane and off to Holland  for our next game and training camp.

We landed in Holland were Nélson Oliveira joined up with the squad for our next two games before jetting off to Brazil with Lasse Vigen Christensen to join up with their respective International squads for the Rio Olympics. So our next game was against RBC Roosendaal and a chance for us to get some goals. We played the 4-2-3-1 again with the following team.
GK Evtimov
RB Byram
BPD Dawson
BPD Mancienne *Hobbs 60
LB Pinillos
DLP Gardner *Osborn 75
RPM Lansbury *Ebecillo 58
RW Paterson
LW Ward
TRQ Clough
CF Oliveira

RBC Roosendaal 1-10 Nottingham Forest
Oliveira 5, Ward 2, Paterson 2, Clough
We expected a an easy run out but it was more about match fitness however it was nice to see Clough and Paterson get amongst the goals. Mancienne looked like Beckenbauer stepping in to midfield with the ball, RBC were poor on the day.

Our next game was to be more of a test as we played Bundesliga side Hannover and my last chance to give Oliveira another run out before he looked to achieve Olympic gold in Rio. My Starting XI was:
GK Evtimov
RB Byram
BPD Dawson
BPD Mancienne
LB Pinillos
DLP Gardner
RPM Ebecillo *Lansbury 65
RW Mendes *Paterson
LW Muto *Samaras 70
TRQ Michu
CF Oliveira

Hannover 2-2 Nottingham Forest
Michu, Oliveira
A much harder test for us but I thought we played well enough to maybe pinch it but credit to the German side they pushed us all the way and tired legs late on left us hanging on at the death. We did seem a little vulnerable at the back for a spell in the 2nd half but good run out for us as we build up our match fitness. Another game in 2 days against the French side Lille and a return for Ryan Mendes to his old club.

On to the game against Lille and a few tired legs from the Hannover game gave me a good chance to rotate the team along with a welcome return to the starting XI for Britt Assombalonga and a first start for Jannik Vestergaard.
My starting XI:
GK Evtimov
RB Lichaj
BPD Hobbs
BPD Vestergaard *Dawson 60
LB Jokic
DLP Osborn *Gardner 75
RPM Lansbury *Ebecillo 66
RW Paterson *Mendes 39
LW Samaras
TRQ Michu
CF Assombalonga *Ward  82

Lille 3-2 Nottingham Forest
Michu, Samaras
Defeat for us in a game which Lille exposed our back line far to easy for my liking, which is something we are not used too in recent times and a sign that we need to concentrate and keep an eye on how the new players mould in to our system with the towering Dane Vestergaard not having the best of starts in a red shirt. On a positive note though was the link up play between Assombalonga and Michu.

A few days break and on to our fifth game of seven against FC Koln. For this game I wanted to change our shape a little so I withdrew our two wingers in to a wide midfielder role but kept their individual instructions the same and swopped our Trequartista position for a False Nine which now gives us a 4-4-2
Starting shape instead of our usual 4-2-3-1. The reason for this was so I could try out Zach Clough in the False Nine role with Britt Assombalonga playing in our normal Complete Forward role.
My starting XI:
GK Evtimov
RB Lichaj
BPD Hobbs
BPD Mancienne *Dawson 54
LB Pinillos
DLP Ebecillo
RPM Gardner
RM Paterson
LM Osborn
F9 Clough
CF Assombalonga

FC Koln 1-3
Assombalonga 2 Clough
A Pleasing performance with our front two causing havoc for the Germans defence. It was kind of nice seeing the Clough name back on the club’s shirt.  A good result  for us and masterclass in pressing . Two days rest before our next game and a chance to analyse our pre season so far.

FC Dordrecht would be our next opposition, I decided to revert back to the 4-2-3-1 for this one and went with Lansbury in the Trequartista role.
Starting XI:
GK Begovic
RB Byram
BPD Dawson
BPD Vestergaard
LB Jokic
DLP Ebecillo
RPM Gardner
RW Mendes
LW Ward
TRQ Lansbury
CF Assombalonga

FC Dordrecht 1-2 Nottingham Forest
Assombalonga, Mendes

I gave all eleven a full 90 minutes run out in a game that the scoreline doesn’t reflect our dominance the midfield looked solid and created chance after chance. We are back on the plane for a stop off in Spain for our final pre season run out at Zaragoza before heading home to prepare for our opening Premier League game.

I wanted to give the starting XI as many minutes as possible in Zaragoza like our last game against FC Dordrecht.
Starting XI:
GK Begovic
RB Lichaj
BPD Hobbs
BPD Mancienne
LB Pinillos
DLP Ebecillo *Gardner 45
RPM Osborn
RW Paterson
LW Muto
TRQ Michu
CF Assombalonga

Zaragoza 0-3 Nottingham Forest
Assombalonga 3
The Britt Assombalonga show deadly finishing from our front man who will start our opening League game barring any knocks in training  with Oliveira and Christensen not due back from International duty. The result rounds off our warm up games as we head back home with a board meeting scheduled for me tomorrow to see what their expectations are for the season ahead . I am looking forward to the season getting underway as Nottingham Forest return to the Premier League.

forest man

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