Nottingham Forest have opted to send their Under 23 side to Sincil Bank for the friendly on Monday evening, when we had previously expected their full first team.
The encounter was organised whilst Martin O’Neill was manager, but Sabri Lamouchi has decided he no longer wants the senior players involved in the game. He’s also sent the Under 23 side to Mansfield when a first team was expected and cancelled a clash with Peterborough scheduled to take place in Spain.
It’s the second season in three we’ve been let down by a manager cancelling a friendly, with Pep Clotet cancelling our game with Oxford at short notice in 2017. On that occasion, Forest stepped in and sent their Under 23s at short notice.
Yes, it’s annoying to a degree, but it only serves to underline my belief that friendlies are little more than open training sessions. If you were going to see the Forest first team you’re either under the age of 12, a Forest fan or under the misconception that it matters one bit. The only setback is that we won’t have the same workout we expected, although their Under 23 side did push us all the way as we won 4-3 in July 2017. Tyler Walker scored twice that day.
Anyway, the club have acted quickly and decisively, announcing fans who bought a ticket and now do not want to go because of the change can get a full refund. Their statement read; “Supporters of both teams may request a full refund on the fixture due to the change in personnel, including a partial refund for those who have purchased the pre-season bundle.
“Supporters who have purchased tickets solely for the Forest fixture can request a refund via Eventbrite by clicking ‘manage my booking’ on your ticket confirmational email. Those that have purchased a pre-season bundle will be eligible for a partial refund if they no longer wish to attend the Forest fixture.”
It’s a negative turned into a positive. The club could have simply held out and offered nothing, but instead they’ve moved swiftly to stop any potential moaning. It’s an unavoidable situation which has been swiftly met head on.
It’s a small gesture, you and I know that, but it’s an important one. The club get a lot of stick when they do things wrong, but not so much when they do things right. It’s much like the season ticket ‘situation’ – an imagined problem whereby people want to get their physical season ticket 11 days before they need it. Why bother? Even if they don’t arrive until Friday of next week, what’s the problem? Why make an issue when there really isn’t one?
Also, a note on Forest. I know people will be moaning about them, calling them a shambles, but the chance of manager brings a chance of approach and it’s their prerogative to do what they’ve done. It might not be ideal for us, especially not me as it was the only friendly I was going to attend, but they helped us out last year and, in case we’ve forgotten already, they did sell us Jorge Grant for a steal earlier in the summer.
I’m not sure, in the grand scheme of things, it’s such a bad situation. Besides, our final warm-up game of last pre-season was Derby Under 23s less than a week before the big kick off and everything worked out alright for that.
Thanks to Sabri Lamouchi, I’ll see you at the game against Stoke tomorrow.