Kenny Burns: Forest and Notts can draw positives from weekend stalemates
TWO draws and there are only positives to be drawn from the weekend when it comes to Nottingham Forest and Notts County.
Yes, the Reds would have loved to have beaten their East Midlands rivals Leicester and Keith Curle will be disappointed his Notts side did not hold out for victory against fellow promotion-chasing Crawley.
But when you look at the games, a point from each is not a bad return. It is far from the end of the world.
Forest went away from home against the big-spending Foxes and twice came from behind to level matters and from any game on your travels, you will always take a point.
For me, it demonstrated character from Forest because they went behind to an unfortunate own goal and then David Nugent pulled a superb goal out of the bag. But rather than be down and fold, they dragged themselves onto level terms – twice.
Whether it was a penalty or not, Simon Cox has tucked it away and it will be Leicester who went home upset at not taking three points, whereas Forest will go into Saturday's showdown with Sheffield Wednesday more than content.
That will be another tough examination because they are a big side. But they are no way near as big and robust as the Millwall side that swept the Reds aside 4-1 nine days ago.
Manager Sean O'Driscoll will have learned from that experience and I am sure he will put a plan in place to ensure it does not happen again at the City Ground.
And it was also good to see Jermaine Jenas and Henri Lansbury get on the pitch because we have not seen as much as we would have liked of the two midfielders.
I know they have had injuries but hopefully now they are totally fit and will be starting games, showing us all what they bring to the table.
Both are experienced players, use to playing in winning teams against top opposition so it can only add an extra edge to a team that is slowly coming together this season.
Meanwhile, across the river at Notts County, I feel a building block was put in place with the draw against Crawley Town.
Away from home, the Magpies are unstoppable, unbeaten in 17 matches.
It is a truly remarkable record and shows that when the onus is on the home side, Curle's men are lethal at breaking at pace and being ruthless.
At home, it has been tentative and to lose three out of four before the weekend at Meadow Lane was not acceptable, especially against promotion rivals.
That is why I fully understood Curle's cry for a 'don't get beat' mentality. Obviously, at home, it is usually about collecting maximum returns but against a side above them in the table, he wanted to be difficult to break down.
So when Neal Bishop put them in front, it was the perfect platform on which to build. In the end, they were pegged back, only took a point and they will be a bit downhearted.
But the aim was not to lose and they achieved that, so it was a step in the right direction, a way of getting a bit of confidence back into the team on home soil and something they can definitely build on.
Football is a strange game and if you are not on your mettle, you can be undone so easily. And that is why, for different reasons, our two big clubs have to be happy with their weekend's work.
Add to that a Mansfield Town victory against Southport in the Blue Square Bet Premier, something that was much needed for Paul Cox's side, then all in all, it was a productive day on Saturday.