Football: Forest in dire need of new recruits

Glenn Moore on the hard task ahead for Britain's last hope of European honours

As Frank Clark wearily pulled his bags from the carousel at East Midlands airport in the early hours of yesterday morning he was asked if he would be able to strengthen his squad before the Uefa Cup resumes in March. "I do not know, you will have to ask the chairman," the Nottingham Forest manager replied.

Clark is likely to do just that himself, but he knows he is unlikely to get a positive answer, at least not to the extent required to make a difference. It may seem churlish to talk of strengthening Forest so soon after they earned a 1-0 aggregate win over Olympique Lyonnais, but Clark is aware there are tougher challenges ahead.

Already into tomorrow's draw for the quarter-finals are Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSV Eindhoven. Milan, who play tonight, are expected to join them. Daunting opponents, especially as Colin Cooper, so steadfast at the heart of Forest's defence during Tuesday's goalless draw in Lyon, will be suspended for the first leg.

Cooper picked up his second yellow card of the competition for kicking the ball away and, though he said he hoped the club might appeal after looking at the video, he admitted a reprieve was unlikely. "It is going to be very hard to watch having worked so hard to get here," Cooper said. "If we get a big one I do not know whether I would rather we were at home first, so I could play in the Nou Camp for example, or away, because there would be a great atmosphere for a second leg at the City Ground."

With Carl Tiler now at Aston Villa, Alf Inge-Haaland is Cooper's likely replacement as their thin squad is stretched yet further. Any new players would have to be signed by 15 January to be eligible for the rest of the competition but there is little money available.

Although Clark has brought in almost pounds 10m with the sales of Stan Collymore, Tiler and Lars Bohinen, more than half has gone in various deductions and on Kevin Campbell and Andrea Silenzi - neither of whom can make the first team. The rest is helping to pay off Forest's multi-million pound debt. However, each tie realises pounds 500,000 and the same amount is in limbo awaiting the Premier League's ruling on Collymore's claim to a cut of his transfer fee.

Should Forest draw the likes of Milan the emphasis, once more, is likely to be on defence. It is almost eight hours since they conceded a goal in Europe and Cooper said: "The way we play has been ideally suited to it. Teams have put us under a lot of pressure but we do not allow them to get behind us because we play fairly deep. They can play some nice football but they cannot play one-twos behind us.

"We are like everyone else, we would love to win three or four-nil, but it does not matter in the end as long as you get through."

Forest's progress has already helped Steve Stone enter the England squad and it may yet earn Cooper a recall. The central defender played two Umbro Cup matches during which England conceded six goals. On both occasions the back four was experimental and it showed.

Cooper said: "You can look at it from that point of view but I am sure there is many an established international who came in because of injuries and took his chance. I thought I did reasonably well and Terry Venables did say players from teams who stayed in Europe will come to the forefront of his thoughts. I would love to be in next summer's championships."

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
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

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn