Steve Cotterill’s honeymoon period at Nottingham Forest didn’t last very long. Inheriting an imbalanced squad left to him by Steve McClaren and, to some extent, Billy Davies, he managed to chalk up four wins in his first six games before going seven games without a goal. Results and performances have improved in recent weeks as he dragged the club out of the relegation zone, taking the pressure off himself as calls for his sacking recede — for the time being at least. Here’s a look at why Forest have improved in recent weeks: Loan players The return of Marlon Harewood on a short-term contract, after a spell in China, hasn’t exactly proved to be the homecoming he, or anybody, wanted. And fans scoffed as Cotterill added three defenders on loan during the transfer window as Wes Morgan left for Leicester City. But, in addition to Adlene Guedioura, the squad has looked far more balanced with Danny Higginbotham, George Elokobi and […]

It is a busy week ahead in the second tier of English football, with plenty of games to look forward to. Here, TheHardTackle takes a look at 10 things to look out for in the next 7 days of NPower Championship action: ———– 1. 24 games over four days With almost two-thirds of the season gone, we are starting to reach the business end of the campaign. From now on in, the fixtures will come thick and fast with teams desperately fighting to avoid relegation or keep alive their dreams of promotion to the Premier League. This week sees a taste of what is in store as Saturday’s round of fixtures is quickly followed by a midweek set on Tuesday. With 24 games in four days, there promises to be lots of entertainment, goals and talking points. With six points on offer for all sides and the table extremely close, there could be a completely different complexion on the Championship table […]

No financial support and still Rangers won three League titles on the bounce. How did they do it? TheHardTackle's Guest Author, Vinay Sundar tells the the story of how one man, Walter Smith played his part in the glorious history of Rangers FC.