Cotterill hails success of system switch
Manager Steve Cotterill believes changing Nottingham Forest's formation has helped them play better and ultimately kept them up.
The Reds' successful survival bid has been built around a 4-4-1-1 approach, with Radoslaw Majewski playing in the hole between the midfielders and striker. It has given the Pole the freedom to stamp his authority on games. Most notably, Forest thrashed Leeds 7-3, beat Crystal Palace 3-0 - with Majewski scoring all three goals - and won 2-1 at Birmingham using the approach. "Playing three in central midfield improves the standard of football. When you have that, naturally, it has to be shorter, crisper passing," said Cotterill. "When you have two up-front, you are a bit more direct with things sometimes because you want to play off your strikers. When you have the extra man in midfield, it makes the difference. "You have an extra dimension to your team. When you play 4-4-2, you have defence, midfield and your forwards. When you play with somebody short, just off the striker, or with somebody playing just in front of the back four, you have a fourth dimension to your side. "Shorter passing is more conducive when you have that extra player in the middle of the park. The confidence to do it also helps too, of course."