Fawaz Al-Hasawi has gone foreign in his bid to revive Nottingham Forest, having employed half-a-dozen domestic managers all of whom left him disappointed. Much like Carlos Carvalhal at Sheffield Wednesday, the hope is that Philippe Montanier, detached from the club and all its history, can simply get on with the job he wants to do without succumbing to pressure.
However, the mood around the City Ground isn’t overly optimistic. The Frenchman has kept quiet counsel over the summer and his lack of interaction with fans through the media has inflamed scepticism about his credentials. The only real clue to his approach is that he intends to start at the back, primarily making Forest difficult to break down.
As such, the 6/1 available on the 1-0 correct score might be the way to go. Given the relative size of the two clubs, Forest simply have to force the issue at some point - failing to take control of the game would trigger audible discontent from the stands - but once ahead their intentions might be purely pragmatic, in typical Ligue 1 fashion.
Nigel Clough admits he has no idea whether the timing of this fixture, against a club with whom he remains synonymous, is good or bad. But if the newly-promoted Brewers do fall behind, their chief concern might be to avoid a scoreline that damages confidence beyond the 90 minutes.