Clark under pressure

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The Independent Online
Frank Clark returns to Nottingham Forest tonight, praying that Georgi Kinkladze's powers of recovery can spark a revival in Manchester City's fortunes.

The City manager spent close on pounds 8m during the summer in an effort to bring in the kind of quality that could take the club back to the Premiership. But Clark's side are struggling at the foot of the table, without a win in five League matches and with a mere three points in credit.

Clark returns to the club he quit nine months ago when Forest were bottom of the table and on their way out of the Premiership. This time it will be quite different, however, with Forest sitting on top of the First Division 10 points clear of City.

Clark said: "Forest have done well and we haven't, but the game is so important for us that the fact I am going back there means nothing. It's not about Frank Clark, it's about Manchester City, and it is important that we get a win.

"Certain individuals haven't been playing well and we haven't played well as a team either, but I think that once we get that first win under our belts that will provide us with the impetus we need."

At least Clark will be heartened by Kinkladze's recovery from the ankle injury sustained in last week's Coca-Cola Cup defeat by Blackpool, which kept him out of the weekend's match -also a loss -at Charlton.

Clark added: "Georgi has a very good chance of playing. He has undergone intensive treatment and has progressed well."

The City manager has added Richard Edghill to the squad that squandered a one-goal lead at The Valley, and the former England Under-21 full-back is a strong candidate to make his first appearance since rupturing cruciate knee ligaments at Leeds almost two years ago. Neil Heaney is also included.

Forest, meanwhile, will be without their in-form striker, the Dutchman Pierre Van Hooijdonk. The former Celtic forward, who scored a hat-trick in the weekend's 4-0 win over Queen's Park Rangers, is on international duty with the Netherlands, and the manager, Dave Bassett, is awaiting fitness reports on several key players before announcing his team.

Kevin Campbell and the midfielders Thierry Bonalair and Geoff Thomas are all nursing injuries.

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