FL72 Review: Garry Birtles reflects on the Football League weekend
Every Monday night, the Sky Sports experts will review the weekend's Football League action on FL72. Check out Garry Birtles' thoughts on the latest batch of games...
Last Updated: 25/09/13 12:05pm
GARRY SAYS: Historically, Forest have been very poor at the start of the season and had to play catch up, but they have set the right tone so far this year and not conceded a goal, while Billy Davies has got his signings right - Kelvin Wilson will be key - knows the division and how to get promoted from it. I think Radoslaw Majewski will shine under Davies - he is one of these players that can win you a game in an instant, but he needs a regular run of games and I think Billy will give him that - and Jamie Mackie, should too. However, there seems to be a bit of money at the City Ground - which was in doubt when the Kuwaiti owners first came in - and I think if Forest can get another striker in and load the centre-half position, I would fancy them big style.
Reading 3-3 Watford
GARRY SAYS: There was some awful defending in this game but I think Reading will do okay this season because of their manager; Nigel Adkins did a great job at Southampton and I reckon he will have Reading ready for this campaign. They have been linked with Stoke's Cameron Jerome and you can always add a little bit more up front; you can have 46 cleans sheets over the season but goals get you promoted and you need someone who can get you 20-odd. QPR, too, have started well and it looks like Harry Redknapp has got some good characters in his dressing room, which can sometimes be more important than ability. Rangers couldn't have anyone better in charge and are showing why they are the favourites for promotion.
Leeds 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday
GARRY SAYS: Wednesday struggled towards the end of last season and considering the strength of the Championship, it could be a year of consolidation for them, but they are are big, physical side and have a manager in Dave Jones with a lot of experience so I'm sure they will come through. For Leeds, though, you wonder where the goals will come from if Ross McCormack gets injured but they have a reserved and dignified manager in Brian McDermott who players respond to and I think they could get in to the top six. Brighton manager Oscar Garcia, meanwhile, has not had the start he wanted after taking over from Gus Poyet so to get a good three points at Birmingham will give him and his side a lot of confidence.
Stevenage 0-1 Leyton Orient
GARRY SAYS: Orient had a slow start last season but this time they have begun well and I am delighted for O's manager Russell Slade because he is one of football's nice guys; his enthusiasm for the game is fantastic, he always has a smile on his face and he always speaks his mind and players respond to that. The question will be whether Russell has a deep enough squad to surge towards the top six in League One as the lower down the divisions you go the more injuries and suspensions affect you, but if he keeps people fit and Kevin Lisbie keeps scoring goals they have a chance of staying up there as they only just missed out on a play-off place last season.
Torquay 1-3 Oxford
GARRY SAYS: When favouritism comes your way pressure comes with it but Oxford have responded to that really well and sit top of League Two with three wins from three. The experience of Dave Kitson, who has played at the highest level with Reading, can only benefit the younger players, while his intelligence on the field and ability to hold the ball up will be key as well so he looks like a very shrewd acquisition. Portsmouth have the pressure of favourites, too, because of where they have come from and while they only have four points from three games I'm sure 36-year-old David Connolly will be a big player for them and someone the young players can learn from, while it was good to see Bury get their first points with a 3-0 win over Accrington as they have got a lot of new players in their squad following relegation from League One.
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