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Looking back - 18/03/2003

   Georgiou Kinkladze

The fact that Georgi Kinkladze is being recalled by his country is a surprise to me – the surprise is in the fact that he'd been dropped to start with! Since the turn of the year he’s been in great form. Georgia play Ireland so it’ll be advantageous to play him as he’ll be aware of most of their players and their style of play. Although he’s playing well, he hasn’t been able to stop us losing the last three games - a statistic that is hard to swallow. The defeats against Preston and Bradford were particularly hard to take. We’ve conceded far too many last minute goals and it’s massively costly – those extra points can make a tremendous difference!!

After spending the majority of the season looking at breaking into the play-off zone, we now we find ourselves looking over our shoulder. We’re not arrogant enough to dismiss the possibility of being dragged into the fight, and we know it’s time for the whole club to come together to get the wins the need.

The next couple of games are going to be very tough, we’ve the local derby against Forest at The City Ground, and then we make the relatively short trip to Sheffield United – who are doing fantastically. The ‘form book’ goes out of the window with derbies, and we’ll be up for the game – there’s no doubt about that. They got a 1-1 draw in the game at Pride Park and we fancy our chances of getting something at their place. We seem to play better against the top teams of the division, and fail to take advantage against the poorer sides.

Just a comment on the ban and fine that’s been handed to John Gregory. It now seems that you can’t say anything to officials these days. It’s a well known fact that managers are under massive stress, especially during games. Football seems not to take this stress into account and personally, I feel there should be far more leniency. One day the pressure of management might be understood a little better, and when that day comes I think the officials should re-assess how they manage heated situations.

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