Clark misses crowd's point

JON CULLEY

Nottingham Forest 1 Southampton 0

It used to be Arsenal who were masters of the 1-0 win but nowadays maybe Forest should be so acclaimed. This was their sixth such scoreline this season, a third in a row at the City Ground. They even stand accused of being boring, or so their manager thinks.

"I can understand the crowd getting frustrated," Frank Clark said. "You pundits keep telling us we have to play a more patient, passing game to match the Continentals but one of the problems in that is educating English supporters.

"They want the ball going forward quickly - that's what they are used to - but we've got to ignore them in that respect.

"Southampton made life very difficult for us by getting 10 men behind the ball. But we were patient, kept passing and kept probing. It was not a free-flowing, crowd-pleasing performance but in the context of a difficult game it was excellent."

An honest assessment but he was missing the point. It is not so much the method as the end result that is getting the crowd down, the fact that Forest have only to score once, it appears, to be collectively seized by goal-scorer's block. In the last 13 games they have only once reached two. Supporters do not tire of winning 1-0 but they can do without the anxiety it involves. Ask an Arsenal fan.

Kevin Campbell would be quite at home, if someone at Forest could shield his shortcomings the way Ian Wright did at Highbury. Clark, seeking to defend a striker with two goals in 13 starts, said it was "important to have a front player to hold the ball up" but pounds 2.5m is a lot for a foil. Robert Rosario, languishing in the reserves, could do the job just as well.

As if to emphasise this point, it was a defender, Colin Cooper, who broke the deadlock, capping a redoubtable display in his primary role by stealing Campbell's thunder for good measure. Cooper popped up in Southampton's box to head home Bryan Roy's cross a minute before half-time.

But if Forest are worried about Campbell, their concerns are nothing next to Southampton's over Matthew Le Tissier. His loss of form has become a chronic malaise. His manager suspects rejection by England is at the root of it all.

"You'd have to ask a pyschologist about that," Le Tissier said, declining to discuss the theory. In Dave Merrington's view, however, there would be no need.

"If I were a class player and did not get selected it would affect me," Merrington said, "and I'm sure it has affected him."

Goal: Cooper (44) 1-0.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Crossley; Lyttle, Cooper, Chettle, Pearce; Stone, Gemmill, Bart-Williams, Woan; Campbell (Lee, 77), Roy. Substitutes not used: Phillips, McGregor.

Southampton (4-4-1-1): Beasant; Dodd, Neilson, Monkou, Charlton; Bennett (McDonald, 58), Magilton, Venison, Maddison (Watson, 68); Le Tissier; Shipperley. Substitute not used: Grobbelaar (gk).

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley).

Bookings: Forest: Pearce; Southampton: Dodd, Monkou.

Man of the match: Cooper. Attendance: 23,321.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world