Football: Wright's class helps Forest gel

Nottingham Forest 4 Walsall 1

IAN WRIGHT gave a polished performance as Nottingham Forest secured their first win in five matches on Saturday to signal that they might be promotion candidates after all. Wright's manager David Platt, however, maintained that he will be content to let his striker return to West Ham at the end of his one-month loan spell.

"I haven't spoken to [West Ham's manager] Harry Redknapp about the situation," Platt said when asked if he would be trying to sign Wright permanently. "But I'll be happy to let him go back. They can't have him before the month's up, that's the rules, but after that, he'll be going back."

Whether Wright does return to Upton Park remains to be seen. He has already suggested that he would rather play regular first-team football under his former Arsenal team-mate than be an occasionally-used squad player under Redknapp. And Platt, even while displaying nonchalance about his departure, still managed to wax lyrical about how important a player like Wright can be.

"Ian is always going to get efforts on goal," Platt said. "No matter how a game is going, he's always going to get chances. And he and Dougie Freedman have already developed an understanding in a couple of weeks." Freedman scored two on Saturday and, although both were largely due to the tireless and creative build-up work of Gianluca Petrachi, it was Wright's experience and influence on the side that was more telling overall.

At times the 35 year old looked to be fitter, faster and more aware than anyone else on the pitch. With his yard of extra pace and his instinctive sense of positioning, he gave the impression of being an older brother who had gate-crashed a younger sibling's kick-about. He scored only the once, but would have had four before finally finding the net but for an inch here or a crossbar there.

If Forest are to continue producing performances such as Saturday's (the first half was entirely forgettable, the second promised to be superlative even before Walsall had their goalkeeper James Walker sent off), perhaps they should step up their efforts to keep Wright. Freedman is a talent, Nigel Quashie in midfield can be influential and Petrachi is a fine buy, but something has been needed to make them gel, and that something may not be around much longer.

Walsall, for their part, started brightly but failed to make a single real chance after taking an early lead. Their manager, Ray Graydon, will be hoping that does not become a regular occurance this season. "I've been expecting a game like this," Graydon said, when asked how Walsall were handling the step up from the Second Division. "We weren't anywhere near them."

Goals: Robins (4) 0-1; Freedman (43) 1-1; Chettle, pen (71) 2-1; Freedman (76) 3-1; Wright (86) 4-1.

Nottingham Forest (4-3-1-2): Beasant; Matrecano, Scimeca, Chettle, Rogers; Louis-Jean, Burns (Platt, 85), Quashie; Petrachi; Freedman, Wright. Substitutes not used: Goodlad (gk), Hjelde, Harewood, Allou.

Walsall (4-4-2): Walker; Marsh, Barras, Viveash, Pointon; Wrack, Bukran, Keates, Brissett (Daley, 74); Robins (Emberson, gk, 69), Rammell (Elyjolffson, 50). Substitutes not used: Kelster, Roper.

Referee: K M Lynch.

Sending off: Walsall: Walker.

Booking: Walsall: Barras.

Man of the match: Petrachi.

Attendance: 15,081.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games