Monday, 1 December 2008

CC clings on as Reds record overdue home win

They say a cat has nine lives - and Forest's arch feline Colin Calderwood seems to have used a fair few of his in time at the helm on Trentside. Not put off by relentless speculation about his future at the club the Reds' renaissance man earned a respite with a 1-0 win at home to Barnsley - the first win at the City Ground since Watford were toppled back in August.

You have to hand it to him - he certainly picks his moments to pick up a result. Whether you think he's the man for the job or not CC seems a likeable guy. That may not be the most important of traits but I it does stop many wanting to join a witch hunt to get him out a la Megson and Kinnear. Unlike the chaos of the latter pairs respective eras he also seems on good terms with his squad and the team are still 'playing for him'.

He was professional throughout the last 'rumour-rich' seven days and was refreshingly open about his fate should three points not be earned against a Tykes side that has so far done an admirable job to remain at arms length of the relegation battle they were expected to be embroiled in.

He remained composed and focussed on the task in hand. When reports suggested that the club had held talks with ex-Sheep Billy Davies it seemed to be a case of 'back him or sack him'. Whilst he wasn't sacked the silence from the club was telling going into Saturday's all important clash (certainly compared to say the speed of which the ridiculous buyout rumours were quashed by Mark 'we're serious' Arthur). Some say to comment would have merely given the 'dreaded' vote of confidence - but the vote of confidence has only become dreaded because it is rarely sincere. Boardroom silence was not exactly a ringing endorsement to ease pressure on CC and not the best of backdrops to Saturday's game.

Calderwood, however, seems to relish the role of comeback kid. When all seemed lost in last year's promotion chase he kept his head and steered us home (albeit with the aide of a slice of luck and Carlisle completely bottling a seemingly unassailable positition). Now he's pulled another rabbit from his magic hat to pick up a precious three points. He took a calculated risk on Brendan Moloney and let loose Earnie, Tys and Garner together and it worked.

The stats now read one defeat in seven games - but they do also still read three wins in 20. CC hasn't saved himself yet and for the sake of his own sanity and the clubs survival bid he needs to ensure it doesn't take the brink of disaster for another important win to be earned.

He had bought time with the win but last year's turnaround result (Carlisle away) was built on with more impressive results - this one must be followed up in a similar way, starting with a trip to the Ricoh Arena, or old Col' the Cat may well find he runs out of lives after all......

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