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Tim Hopkinson - Nottingham Forest FC

Entertaining Rovers

29/09/08 |

Match: Nottingham Forest v Mansfield Town (friendly)

On Tuesday we had a friendly against Mansfield, which for us was an opportunity to get the defeat on Saturday out of our systems and get a win under our belts. I started off playing right midfield in a very offensive line up. We started the game a bit sloppy but then got on top of the game and started to pass the ball well. I was enjoying playing wide and being able to come in off the line to get the ball.

At half time we went in level at 0 – 0 having had more of the chances. For the second half I moved to play centre forward. As time went on the game opened up and we were the only team that ever really looked like scoring. The previous night I had been up until the early hours because wasn’t well at all, that was certainly showing in the later stages of the game because I was absolutely blowing! We won 3 – 0 in the end and I managed to get a tap in. With Mansfield playing pretty well it was nice to win the game but it was important now that I rested and recovered for the game at the weekend.

Every Wednesday we have to do a full day of education which is good in some ways to have a rest from the training, but it does remind you of being at school as well. At the moment we’re studying the technical and tactical skills involved in sport and are comparing three different sports in detail.

On a Wednesday banter is always flying because you naturally get in to that naughty school boy mood. We always have a laugh, but the work set gets done, which makes the day go quick so we can go home and just sleep for the rest of the day!

Match: Nottingham Forest v Blackburn Rovers

After two straight tough away defeats, it was important that we made amends when we entertained Blackburn Rovers at home. Before the game we talked about playing to our strengths and setting a high tempo from the start and making sure we pressured them when we were out of possession.

From the off we looked like we meant business, we were on top of them and creating opportunities regularly and it was only a matter of time until we got the opener. We worked a good move down the left which gave George space to cross and I managed to get in between the two centre-halves before producing a diving header in to the top corner from about 8 yards out.

It was a deserved start for the team and we went on to double our lead five minutes later when Rodders latched on to a defensive mistake and finished well past the opposition’s keeper. We saw the first half out playing with a very high tempo and dominating the game.

In the second half we had a lot of pressure to deal with, but we were able to still create chances to get more goals. We conceded a late goal to make things a bit tense for the last ten minutes, but we managed to hold on and see the game out to win 2 – 1. It was our first win of the season and a very good team performance. We travel away to Leeds next week in what will be a tough match for us, but one we’re very capable of winning.