Alex McLeish will be looking to claim the first win of his Nottingham Forest tenure when Oldham visit The City Ground in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).A 3-0 defeat at Blackburn last weekend didn’t reflect the closeness of the encounter at Ewood Park but there will be no room for excuses this time around as The Reds face up to a side languishing 19th in League One.
But the cup’s tendency to throw up surprises will come as no news to The Reds boss who himself guided Birmingham to an unlikely League Cup victory two years ago.
Forest emerged from the Blackburn game without any fresh injury concerns. They are, however, still unable to call upon Sam Hutchinson (knee), while Marcus Tudgay has returned from his loan spell at Barnsley nursing a broken collarbone that is expected to sideline him for six weeks.
David McGoldrick and Jonathan Greening, back from loans with Coventry and Barnsley respectively, are available to Alex McLeish if needed but Matt Derbyshire is cup-tied having played, ironically, for Oldham in rounds one and two.
Oldham will be without James Wesolowski, who is facing a three-game ban after being sent-off at Scunthorpe on New Year’s Day, and Cristian Montano, who has a suspected torn thigh muscle.
The keeper initially joined Forest on a short term loan from Everton in 2004 before making the move permanent at the end of the season.
His performances in 2004-05 were enough to win him the Player of the Season accolade – but not enough to stave off relegation as The Reds dropped into League One.
A frustrating season followed as Gerrard found himself in and out of the team which narrowly missed out on the play-offs before his release.
He began his career with this weekend’s opponents, Oldham, for whom he made over 100 league appearances before completing a £1.5million move to Everton in 1996.
The 39 year old is now back at Boundary Park as a player/goalkeeping coach.
Forest - 19th
Oldham – 16th (League One)
Forest wins over Oldham: 19 (17 League, 2 League Cup)
Oldham wins over Forest: 18 (7 League, 1 FA Cup)
Draws: 9 (1 League Cup)
Referee: Roger East
Assistants: John Hopkins & William Smallwood
Fourth Official: Daniel Meeson