MAGPIES: SMITH’S WITH US
RICHARD DRYDEN is adamant Alan Smith is still a key part of the Notts County squad,despite the veteran midfielder being heavily linked with a move to Plymouth.
The Pilgrims have reportedly offered Smith a deal until the end of next season.The 35-year-old was pictured with Plymouth manager Derek Adams in Devon this week, but Magpies caretaker boss Dryden has other ideas.
He said:“Alan is Alan. He comes in and works hard. People look up to him as a leader.
“He’s going to be involved with us until the end of the season, hopefully. I take it he is still going to be here.”
JIMMY FLOYD Hasselbaink failed to break his duck as QPR manager at the seventh attempt and lashed his players for ‘not trying to score’.
Jamie Ward scored his first goal for Forest past debutant goalkeeper Joe Lumley thanks to an assist from 18-year-old Oliver Burke, the one player to bring a spark to a flat third-round contest.
The match also marked a first start since September 2014 for Forest club captain Chris Cohen after a third serious knee injury.
But for Hasselbaink, defeat made it a miserable return to Forest – where he was a coach for 18 months – and it meant QPR have still never won at the City Ground despite 31 attempts.
“The first half we did not look like we were trying to score and that’s not us,” said the QPR boss. “The second half, it was like night and day.Their goalkeeper made a good save and we just needed to keep it going.
“We will keep fighting and try to put in a 90-minute performance. That’s our aim now.
“We do have to believe in ourselves, we must feel not feel sorry for ourselves.
“The only way we are going to get that win is working together and staying together and that’s what we’ve seen in the second half.
“We are looking at players and yes we do need a lift, but that’s not the biggest issue.We just need a little bit of luck, and it will come.”
Right wing Burke, who scored his first goal for Forest in his last match against Cardiff, gave an early signal of his intent by bursting past Clint Hill, and he followed that up seven minutes later by laying the ball on a plate for Ward to bundle in.
A QPR corner was cleared into the path of Burke who controlled the high ball with a delightful first touch before showing off his electric speed to burst into the penalty area down the right, from where he sent a low cross into Ward’s path a couple of yards out.
After a lacklustre first half the match opened after the break, with QPR on the front foot. They forged one opening when Jay EmmanuelThomas laid the ball off to substitute Tjaronn Chery, who had come on seven minutes into the second half, who in turn set up Michael Doughty to shoot over.
Forest goalkeeper Dorus De Vries was then called into action to tip over Gabriele Angella’s bullet header, but the match ended on a sour note for the home side as Henri Lansbury had to be carried off after falling awkwardly. His replacement was left-back Bojan Jokic, making his debut after signing on loan from Villarreal, who helped his new side see out eight minutes of added time.
Forest manager Dougie Freedman is desperately hoping Lansbury’s ankle injury is not as serious as it looked. “It’s a huge setback,” he said.“If you want to win leagues and get promotions you need your best players on the pitch.
“But I’m delighted with the win. Our first-half display really showed them how good we are.The second half there was a little bit of defending but we were comfortable.”
On the returning Cohen, Freedman added: “He did alright. There’s a lot to come.
“He does not quite understand how I play but he’s improving and he’s a wonderful football player.
“You won’t see Chris every week. I think that’s been a mistake in the past with him.”
BORN WINNER: Forest’s Ben Osborn gets the better of QPR forward Jamie Mackey