If Jay Bothroyd can be summoned from the Championship to help out with England's striking problems, then why can't Lee Camp make the same leap to assist with any goalkeeping shortfall? After watching his No 1 being so influential in toppling Cardiff off the top of the League, this was a question Billy Davies was keen to ask.
"Camp's been outstanding," said the Nottingham Forest manager, reflecting on a performance that saw the former England Under-21 repel a misfiring Bothroyd. "There's talk about national goalkeepers and them not doing well. Well, judge for yourself. Look at the way Lee's been playing. He's top class. It's not for me to pick the England keeper, though. I'm Scottish and we've got our own problems."
Davies's main problem – according to him – is a lack of squad strength which will undermine the push for promotion. This away victory was all very impressive – as has been their little run which has moved them into the play-off placings after a sluggish start to the season. But Davies is adamant: "I am not going to get excited," he said.
Why? There are obviously factors beyond the fact that Forest were second in the League in January and ended up missing out. The tensions between Davies and the board are hard to ignore, particularly when the former questions whether the accounts that were released last week are "true". They showed that the chairman, Nigel Doughty, has put in £60m over the last 11 years, although Davies shrugged his shoulders.
"The accounts are the accounts," he said. "But we are trying to progress from finishing third last season and to do that takes a certain requirement and recommendations from the manager. And as far as I'm concerned the only thing we should be focusing on is the January transfer window and adding to this squad."
Forest certainly have the quality on board if the quantity does arrive. In Lewis McGugan they have a youngster with the sweetest right foot in the League as proven when yet another long-range effort put Forest on their way. In Camp and his back four there is solidity, but the inexperienced bench highlighted that resources are stretched and the last thing Davies wanted was to see Dexter Blackstock – the other goalscorer – carried off with cruciate ligament damage.
That was late on and by then Cardiff were assured of going into next week's top-of-the-table collision with the new leaders QPR on the back of two home defeats. After such an impressive October – five games, five wins – November has so far comprised of two losses, a draw and one win. For the superstitious this turnaround in form will not have come as a shock. In Dave Jones's five previous seasons in charge, Cardiff have never won more than one match in November and the manager has not stopped the talk permeating to the players. "We thought we were going to lay that stat to rest when we won last week at Scunthorpe," said the full-back Kevin McNaughton. At Loftus Road on Saturday, they have one last chance to do so.
Cardiff City (4-4-2): Heaton; McNaughton, Hudson, Gyepes, Blake (Matthews 81); Whittingham, Koumas, Olofinjana, Bellamy; Chopra (Drinkwater 48), Bothroyd. Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Rae, Keogh, Wildig.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Camp; Bertrand, Chambers, Morgan, Gunter; McGugan, McCleary (Lynch 85), Cohen, Moussi; Adebola, Earnshaw (Blackstock 70; Rodney 89). Substitutes not used: Smith (gk), Thornhill, Majewski.
Booked: Forest: Chambers, McCleary, Cohen.
Man of the match: McGugan.
Shots on target: Cardiff: 1 Nottingham Forest: 6
Referee: C Webster (Tyne & Wear)
Attendance: 23,526 Match rating 6/10Reuse content