Nottingham Forest had done their homework on Ipswich Town’s diamond system

NOTTINGHAM Forest manager Steve Cotterill says he was delighted with the way his players counter-acted Ipswich’s diamond midfield system on Saturday.

Even though midfielder Keith Andrews was ruled out with a broken nose, Blues boss Paul Jewell stuck with his narrow formation for the 10th game running – winger Josh Carson asked to play in a more central role.

And this was after Cotterill had stated before the game that he had been working all week on a plan to beat the diamond system having studied the manner in which Ipswich lost to Crystal Palace, Millwall and Doncaster.

“We started working on it in the early part of the week, doing sessions on it Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,” said Cotterill. “We started on our front six and then incorporated the back four later on.

“You have to work hard playing against the diamond. The hard work we did today allowed players to do what they had to do without thinking about it. Actually thinking means you don’t get to the man sometimes.”

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The Forest boss says it is not simply a case of exploiting the wide areas when it comes to playing against the diamond though.

He added: “You could play 4-3-3 against it, but I don’t think that works.

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“What happens then is that your three midfield players end up marking the point, left and right of the diamond; your striker ends up marking the base of the diamond, but if you’re up against two ball-playing centre-halves who marks them?

“You’ve also got the problem of the two full-backs running on.

“I don’t want to give too much away though – we’ve got more diamonds to play against!”

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