Reds keeper still to con­vince fans

BEST OF THE WEEKLY FOR­EST WEBCHAT

Nottingham Post - - SPORT -

HERE are some of the fans’ ques­tions and the an­swers pro­vided by the Post’s For­est writer Paul Tay­lor in his weekly webchat.

Ques­tion: Good af­ter­noon, Tails, do you think we are likely to see the big greek panos play any­time soon?

An­swer: He did ar­rive at For­est with some de­cent pedi­gree, hav­ing played at the high­est level for Olympia­cos...

Pana Tacht­sidis is a player with a de­cent CV be­hind him.

But, as we have seen a few times in the past, there is clearly a big dif­fer­ence be­tween flour­ish­ing in Greek foot­ball and be­ing able to make your­self a suc­cess in the Cham­pi­onship.

They are two very dif­fer­ent styles of foot­ball.

It is too soon to write him off just yet but if we are com­pletely hon­est, he ob­vi­ously hasn’t done enough so far to per­suade Ai­tor Karanka that he de­serves a first team chance.

Will he want to seek out a new club him­self, in order to se­cure more reg­u­lar foot­ball?

Or are both he and For­est ready to per­se­vere, for a lit­tle while longer, to see if he can make the grade still?

Ques­tion: I’m very sur­prised about the val­u­a­tion of Ryan Yates. He was dom­i­nant at Notts County and then played very well in League 1. What do you think, and is the 500k heav­ily un­der­writ­ten by clauses around fu­ture pay­ments?

An­swer: It is very likely that Ryan Yates will leave Not­ting­ham For­est in Jan­uary.

But still get the feel­ing it is very much more likely to be on loan, rather than on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

For­est do not have to rush into selling him, they would be far bet­ter off send­ing him out to play reg­u­lar foot­ball some­where - and see­ing how he does.

His value will only in­crease, as he gains more ex­pe­ri­ence.

And he does need to build his ex­pe­ri­ence. He very much needs to be play­ing reg­u­lar foot­ball at this stage in his ca­reer.

He re­mains a bright prospect; a young man with lots of po­ten­tial.

But the only way he will grow and learn is through min­utes on the pitch.

In all hon­esty, £500k for a player with lim­ited ex­pe­ri­ence at the lower lev­els of the game would not be a bad price - as long as there were sig­nif­i­cant fu­ture add-ons in­cluded, most notably a sig­nif­i­cant sell-on clause.

That is where the big money would be made, if For­est did opt to sell.

If he reaches the level he is ca­pa­ble of, For­est would need to cover them­selves for that.

But, as we said at the start, think it is more likely that they would pre­fer to send him out on loan for now.

Ques­tion: Keeper is very poor and me and you both know it, you’re just too scared to of­fend any­one at the club.

As for his cleans sheets, that’s down to the solid de­fence.

An­swer: Firstly, no­body is say­ing that Cos­tel Pan­til­imon is the new Pe­ter Shilton. He is not that.

What he is, is a de­cent Cham­pi­onship keeper. No more, no less.

But what is sur­pris­ing is the level of flak he has taken in re­cent weeks.

Peo­ple have used words like “garbage”, “li­a­bil­ity” and oth­ers that we can­not re­peat here to de­scribe him.

But we are talk­ing about a player who has kept the se­cond-most clean sheets in the divi­sion. If not for the Roofe hand­ball, he would have kept clean sheets in half of his 20 games so far this sea­son. Half.

For­est have con­ceded the third-fewest goals in the Cham­pi­onship. He alone is not re­spon­si­ble for that. It is a team ef­fort.

But many peo­ple seem to ar­gue that this record is de­spite him, not at least partly be­cause of him.

And that, frankly, is just non­sense. As for the ac­cu­sa­tion that we are scared to crit­i­cise be­cause we are scared to upset peo­ple... come on.

The rea­son we’ve not sin­gled out Pan­til­imon for crit­i­cism is be­cause his con­tri­bu­tion so far has been solid, if un­spec­tac­u­lar.

He could be bet­ter... but For­est have had far, far worse play­ers be­tween the posts than him. Ques­tion: What’s the story with Karanka’s sad­ness? Is it be­cause they’re selling Lol­ley? Are the Greeks pick­ing the team? An­swer: From the con­ver­sa­tions I’ve had over the last few days, it does not feel as though there is any­thing to be con­cerned about when it comes to the fu­ture of Ai­tor Karanka.

Af­ter his in­ter­view post-ip­swich, the club were brief­ing that it was a per­sonal is­sue that had in­flu­enced Karanka’s mood,

rather than a foot­ball mat­ter.

But what is also clear is that, what­ever it was, he is over it now.

He was back to his usual happy self yes­ter­day.

Ques­tion: Will Fox be back for derby? An­swer: Karanka sug­gested yes­ter­day that both Danny Fox and Michael Daw­son have a chance of re­turn­ing to face Derby but get the feel­ing that “chance” is the right word.

Fox has been back in train­ing a few times but has suf­fered pain in his foot that has ham­pered his progress.

Which is why For­est have been cau­tious about putting a pre­cise time frame on his re­turn.

They just need to wait for his foot to calm down.

Daw­son’s in­jury is one that looked as though it might be bad, but has since been - thank­fully - viewed as less se­ri­ous.

It is still a ham­string prob­lem, which you can­not gam­ble with.

But it sounds as though he has chance of be­ing back for Derby.

If they could get just one of them back, it would be a ma­jor boost, wouldn’t it?

Ques­tion: Surely Jack Robin­son is much too short for cen­tre of de­fence. Tach­sidis is taller than most of the oth­ers, as is Ryan Yates. Why not go for a bit of height?

An­swer: We asked Karanka about this in some depth yes­ter­day...

And the key points, when it comes to his point of view on this, are:

He prefers to play with se­nior play­ers, who have trained reg­u­larly with the first team, have Cham­pi­onship ex­pe­ri­ence and do not need any bed­ding into the side, rather than to pro­mote from the un­der-23 or un­der-18 side.

He does be­lieve that both Yacob and Wat­son could do a job in the cen­tre of de­fence, if re­quired. You can cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate that where Yacob is con­cerned.

He knows that Robin­son can do a good job there, hav­ing played there all sea­son for QPR last year.

Not sure that Robin­son is “too short” to play there.

He is one of those play­ers who has two po­si­tions in which he is a nat­u­ral.

He is equally com­fort­able play­ing in the cen­tre, as he is on the left.

Play­ing Tacht­sidis or Yates there, just be­cause they are tall, might be a bit of a stretch.

But in the case of Robin­son, he could slot in with­out the need for any sig­nif­i­cant re­train­ing or prepa­ra­tion. He knows the role.

Ques­tion: I’m in­trigued to know why you’re al­ways so pos­i­tive about Os­born at left back. An­swer: He is not the next Stu­art Pearce but, for a few matches, he is ca­pa­ble of do­ing a job there and do­ing it well.

For what­ever rea­son, we got to a point where ev­ery sin­gle mis­take; ev­ery sin­gle mi­nor er­ror that Os­born made, would be stored away by some, for fu­ture use.

Os­born could do five pos­i­tive things in a spell of a game and make one mi­nor slip – and it is the slip that ev­ery­one re­mem­bers.

Jack Robin­son looks set to fill in at cen­tre-half to­day

Cos­tel Pan­til­imon still di­vides opin­ion de­spite the Reds’ im­pres­sive de­fen­sive record this sea­son

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