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Saturday, 2 November 2013

Gillett, the best a manager can get?

A couple of months ago one Nottingham Forest fan said to me on Twitter something along the lines of "I imagine you’ll sign Simon Gillett, he fits perfectly into a Sean O’Driscoll team and system and would be the glue to help it all stick together”

Well, now the glue has arrived and it will be interesting to see how he’s used, and for who.  Bobby Reid probably needs some rest but he’s playing well and is our key creative force in the middle of the park.  Marlon Pack has been made captain following the replacement of Sam Baldock and plays a key role, adding height to the midfield (notice how many headers he wins just in front of the back four) and is probably one of the most composed ball retainers in the XI. Scott Wagstaff has added a goal threat recently to his unquestionable endeavour and effort.

Wherever he fits in, he’s undoubtedly going to do so somewhere. We wouldn’t be paying Championship wages (or at least a portion of) for someone to come and sit on the bench and come on with twenty minutes to go, although that’s the role I expect him to play on Saturday against Lee Johnson’s Oldham.

James Bolton, of View from the Main Stand kindly offered me these thoughts on our new loan signing

“I think Simon Gillett to Bristol City was probably one of the most predictable loan signings to happen this window as he teams up with Sean O’Driscoll for a third time.

At the start of his Forest career he looked to be an inspired signing. He was standing out as an absolute steal in a team which included multi-million pound signings when he arrived at The City Ground after being released by Doncaster. He was an integral player during O’Driscoll’s time at Forest, playing holding midfield. In his early games he did very little wrong. He plays the simple pass, gets stuck in as much as he can and patrols the space in front of the back four.

After O’Driscoll left, he fell out of favour at Forest. He made a fairly costly error in against Derby County, dwelling on the ball for a millisecond too long, allowing Conor Sammon to pinch the ball from him and set up Jamie Ward for an equaliser. 

He hasn’t really had a look in since then, and when Billy Davies returned to the club Gillett found himself very much on the outer fringes of the squad.Under Davies he’s yet to make a league appearance and has only featured in two League Cup games.  I believe he’s been playing fairly regularly for the Under-21s during this time, but due to lack of competitive game time I wouldn’t expect him to be match fit right away. 

I think he’s just about capable of playing at Championship level and possibly would be for us were it not for the depth of talent we have in central midfield. While I don’t know an awful lot about what Bristol City need specifically, O’Driscoll has called for experience in midfield, and he’ll certainly offer that. He’ll be familiar with the way O’Driscoll works so once he regains his sharpness, I’d expect him to do well and hope that he does.

In summary, you can expect a fairly steady performer who is happy to be the unsung hero by keeping things tight in front of the back four, keeping possession when you do have the ball and breaking up play when you don’t.”

Sounds like the sort of player we need at the moment and you never know, we might just keep a clean sheet whilst he’s with us…maybe!

The Exiled Robin

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