Football: Forest still need fresh recruits

Tottenham Hotspur 0 Nottingham Forest 1

How Irving Scholar must have regretted not attending White Hart Lane on Saturday so he could rub you-know-who's nose in it. I bet another of Alan Sugar's old adversaries, Brian Clough, will have enjoyed it from afar, too. All in all, it was an ideal place for the new Nottingham Forest regime to kick off with a victory, including the new management team of Dave Bassett and Stuart Pearce, who are both north London boys.

Two days into the job, Bassett could have brought little more to the proceedings than his sometimes charmed life in Premiership struggles ("I did make an observation or two at half-time because Stuart couldn't really breathe"), but the return from suspension of the inspirational Pearce most definitely lifted the side. That, crucially, may have had something to do with the weight of responsibility being lifted from the caretaker manager's shoulders.

While Bassett stressed that it was still a joint managership effort and that Pearce would have the final say in team matters, one can predict that the captain will soon be relinquishing his role as caretaker in order to take care of his playing performance for club and country. "He [Pearce] knows he can always be Forest's manager in a few years' time - when I'll probably be dead," said Bassett. "I don't want to be a tired old bastard of 60 running around in a tracksuit."

Much will depend on how wisely Bassett spends his money when, for the first time in his life, he is let loose in the sweetshop with pounds 16m in his pocket. Despite the sweet economy of a victory derived from just one shot at goal, beautifully taken though it was by Dean Saunders, strengthening the attack must be Bassett's first priority.

Gerry Francis, the Spurs manager, will envy his spending power. Not that he has not had his own financial backing from Sugar, it just has not been there in large enough sums when he needed it. Spurs' seventh defeat in nine games, he admitted, was taking them into "areas in which we don't want to be."

Unlucky as Francis has been with injuries, it is now becoming something of a lame excuse, if you excuse the pun. There was enough quality in the side on Saturday to have disposed of even such resilient opponents as Forest, but their finishing was lamentable, even if Tommy Wright in goal did have a stormer in his last match before joining Manchester City today. The last time the Northern Ireland international played that well was when he repelled Spurs' soul-mate Jurgen Klinsmann and company in Nuremburg earlier in the season.

Obviously, with Darren Anderton, Chris Armstrong and Ramon Vega restored to the side, Spurs would be a force with which to be reckoned, but it seems as soon as one gets fit another suffers a relapse. It might help if Francis knew in advance who was going to be available. On Saturday Anderton, who was expected to play, did not and Teddy Sheringham vice- versa. Now they have Andy Sinton, carried off with a bad shin injury, doubtful for tomorrow's match at Sunderland. So it goes on.

Goal: Saunders (17) 0-1.

Tottenham Hotspur (3-5-2): Walker; Scales, Campbell, Calderwood; Austin (Rosenthal, 72), Howells, Nielsen, Sinton (Dozzell, 58), Wilson; Iversen, Sheringham. Substitutes not used: Carr, Allen, Bardsen (gk).

Nottingham Forest (4-4-1-1): Wright; Lyttle, Chettle, Jerkan, Pearce; Allen (Phillips, 85), Cooper, Haland, Gemmill; Clough; Saunders (McGregor, 90). Substitutes not used: Howe, Roy, Fettis (gk).

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).

Bookings: Tottenham: Austin. Forest: Pearce, Cooper, Lyttle.

Man of the match: Wright.

Attendance: 32,805.

peopleJonathan Ross has got a left-field suggestion to replace Clarkson
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss