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Post Huddersfield reflections

It might look like a '5 things we learned about...' piece but it's more like some thoughts on the Huddersfield game after a few days' sober reflection.

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Eric Lichaj likes an early booking

Faced with a tricksy, flighty threat of a winger, Lichaj clearly feels that an early reducer is the best way to come to terms with such a situation. In the early stages, he was led a merry dance by Mustapha Carayol, reminding us of the Kazenga Lua Lua incident in the opening game of the season. Nonetheless, our learned American friend went on to produce a sumptuous assist for the opening goal and from then on, Carayol was reduced to intermittent dribbles which led to little. A great recovery from Eric then but those early bookings scare the bejeezus out of us.

A brief word for Kelvin Wilson too who performed so impressively that there were fears he had suffered an Invasion of the Body Snatchers fate. This being the case, let's all just keep shtum about it as long as performances are of this standard. Deal? Good.

Ryan Mendes is a confidence player

Mendes' opening goal for Forest was smartly taken and owes much to Lichaj’s headed cut back which was weighted as carefully as a Swiss pulley balance for the Cape Verdean to smash it most satisfactorily between the posts. As Liverpool demonstrated in their labouring in the cup game against Carlisle United the previous evening, a team can have as many chances as it wants but it’s what you do with them that matters. The approach play deserves a shout out too - there are few things more satisfying than a cross going from one full back to the other deep into enemy territory – obviously, a finish like that from Mendes  scores quite high on the satisfactometer too. As for Mendes himself, he appears to play in five minute bursts, ranging between exquisite and infuriating. This might be a small price to pay for accommodating such a talent in the side.

Jamie Ward gonna Jamie Ward all day long

He is a nasty little irritant of a player - constantly involved in niggly little fouls and scuffles with the opposing full back, moaning and whinging to the referee and provoking the ire of opposition fans. He's great, isn't he? His surly Kevin the Teenager attitude is just what the team needs on the pitch, especially in the prolonged absence of Andy Reid. Now if someone could just have a word in his ear about leathering the ball with all his might as high as he can from 40 yards out, that would be great.

Michael Mancienne might yet be a midfielder

Michael Mancienne's performance had the curious effect of making us start to develop sympathy for the idea that he might, just might, be able to play in midfield. At one stage in the second half, he shrugged off a few challenges while under pressure on the edge of his own penalty area and seems to be growing more adept at sniffing out danger - he got across to help Lichaj out when faced with Carayol bearing down on him. Just the passing - short range and long range - to address now.

Mustn't forget about the points

Once again, we see away points squandered due to the concession of a late goal (remember Bolton away earlier in the season?). Once Forest went in front, Huddersfield visibly deflated like a bouncy castle at a punk convention. They were always going to apply some pressure in the second half and for the most part, Forest looked relatively comfortable, looking to soak it all up and then squirt it back into their faces and it oh so nearly came off with Chris Burke coming within a whisker of securing the points on the break.

When the equaliser did come, there was more than a stroke of misfortune about it after a wicked deflection forced the ball into the only trajectory possible that could beat Dorus de Vries from that range and angle. After this, Freedman adjusted and went on the offensive again with both full backs once again pushing on and supporting the attack. Retrospect is a fine thing and indeed if Burke's effort had gone in, this would all have been irrelevant, but perhaps a little more adventure in the first half when Huddersfield were on the ropes might have secured all three points. Pedantic, yes - especially in the light of two previous away wins and 7 points from 9 on the road in the last three games - but it would be lovely to see a requisite return in points from the promising performances.

There is a feeling that this will come though...and soon.

You can read Michael Shaw's match report here.