Focusing on Brian Stock paid off for Nottingham Forest
FOLLOWING the furore caused by the simple decision to play one striker against Hull, Sean O'Driscoll's tactics were always going to be under the spotlight on Saturday.
The Forest boss' team selection against the Tigers might well have paid off if not for a questionable penalty and a clear handball goal.
But there were no such issues against Burnley, as Forest again sent out a side shaped to quell the main influences within the Burnley ranks – and predominantly Brian Stock's ability to run the game from his deep sitting role in midfield.
The decision to put Lewis McGugan up against Stock and give him added defensive responsibilities also gave Forest's line-up a more attacking look, as Dexter Blackstock and Henri Lansbury were also restored.
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"We had a game plan, we stopped them doing what they wanted to do. Our two strikers stopped their central defenders and Lewis came in and stopped Brian Stock from doing what he does," said O'Driscoll.
"Burnley like to build their attacks through him, playing in front of the back four. We want to play Lewis where we feel he can do well. Stock plays in front of the back four so we wanted to push Lewis up against him.
"We thought if we do that, he could also get into forward positions and create things for the two strikers.
"We knew that, when they go behind, they like to bring off Stock and play with two wide men.
"We were ready for that and changed things accordingly, going to a slightly flatter midfield ourselves.
"When it works, people think you are genius, when it doesn't, you have to take some stick, I am afraid."