Graphic: Why Dougie Freedman should select this Forest XI versus Rotherham United

Nottingham Forest host Rotherham United on Saturday.

Nottingham Forest’s first home match of the 2015/16 Championship campaign sees them host Steve Evans’ battling Rotherham United side.

The Reds have begun the current campaign in disappointing fashion, narrowly losing at Brighton 1-0 before being dumped out of the League Cup following a 4-3 home loss to Walsall.

Dougie Freedman’s side were far too defensive in their opening game at Brighton, spending long periods camped behind the ball. On Saturday, the onus will be on them to attack Rotherham.

Back five:

Forest were defensively poor at home to Walsall, with left-back Danny Fox once again frustrating supporters with another inconsistent display and Kelvin Wilson underperforming.

David Vaughan’s midfield days look bleak with his lack of pace evident, yet he still has something to offer Forest and can slot in at left-back where his defensive skills can be put to good use.

Michael Mancienne ought to drop back into a centre-back position with his talent wasted in midfield, yet a current injury crisis in the middle means he is one of only a few options available to play there.


Midfield has become a problem for Forest after Robert Tesche picked up a long-term injury at Brighton. Vaughan and Mancienne aren’t the same sort of players.

Henri Lansbury, providing he’s not sold before Saturday, can slot in a little deeper and control proceedings with his excellent passing range and ability to set his side’s tempo.

Youngster Ben Osborn is a natural midfielder and player Forest fans want to see more of. However, his fitness troubles means Freedman has to put square pegs in round holes.

Attacking quartet:

The onus will be on Forest to attack on Saturday, therefore they ought to line up with an attacking quartet capable of linking-up play, creating opportunities and scoring goals.

Michail Antonio is an obvious choice, while on the other side Chris Burke can provide the width and crossing ability for Dexter Blackstock in the middle.

Jamie Ward is another who is arguably playing out of position, though the former Derby County man’s attributes are equally suited to a role just off the main striker.

Ward no longer possesses lightening pace, but his trickery in tight spots and confidence to shoot from range means he could prove to be quite an attacking force in the number 10 role.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch