By William Wood | In Micah's Say
Manchester City’s season suffered another blow as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest, and Micah gave his thoughts on the disappointment exclusively with MicahRichards.com.
Speculation around the City of Manchester stadium had heightened in the days leading up to the match with the opening of the transfer window, and new signing Wayne Bridge was unveiled to the home crowd prior to kick-off after his £10 million move from Chelsea was finalised.
With manager Mark Hughes looking to build on the improved performances during the festive period, he opted for a strong line-up which included Micah alongside City captain Richard Dunne in the centre of defence, as has been customary in recent weeks.
It was, however, Forest – who are hovering above the Championship relegation zone on goal difference – who started the brighter of the two teams, Nathan Tyson picking out Lewis McGugan at the far post only for the midfielder to miss the target with his header.
City responded, with Daniel Sturridge and Felipe Caicedo forcing Paul Smith into impressive saves, though in the absence of Robinho and Stephen Ireland, City struggled to forge any level of potency in attack.
Events took a turn for the worse as Shaun Wright-Phillips limped off the field with an apparent hamstring injury, and the visitors took the lead soon after to compound the hosts’ misery.
A long ball forward by Forest was headed only as far as Tyson by Micah, and the former unleashed a powerful volley that looped beyond Joe Hart and into City’s goal.
As The Citizens tried to regain their composure in the face of a one-goal deficit and freezing conditions, journeyman striker Robert Earnshaw benefitted from Matt Thornhill’s wayward drive to slot the ball home three minutes before the interval.
With Hughes trying to raise his side’s spirits from the touchline, the Premier League outfit improved after the break, Caicedo continuing to probe while £18 million striker Jo saw a goal-bound shot blocked by Wes Morgan with 20 minutes to go.
However, there was still time for further embarrassment as Didi Hamann threw the ball directly to Joe Garner, allowing the Forest youngster to race through on goal and add a third.
City’s players trudged off the field to the disappointed sounds of the home faithful, and the game posed more questions than answers as both Hughes and his side continue the search for consistency in an otherwise disappointing campaign thus far.
“We were simply nowhere near good enough, and given the performances all over the park we deserved to lose,” Micah said.
“In the FA Cup there are always upsets, with smaller teams beating the bigger clubs, and unfortunately we fell victim today.
“We expected to win, but the way we lost was the most disappointing aspect of it.”
Despite the feeling of frustration, Micah was full of praise for the Forest players, particularly Nathan Tyson for his impressive opener.
“I thought I’d headed the ball away, but Nathan Tyson caught the ball really well and it went in – it was unstoppable,” Micah added.
On a brighter note, City completed the first of what is expected to be several signings this month in Bridge, and his England teammate is excited at the prospect of the 28-year old marauding down the left flank.
“It’s a great signing,” Micah concluded. “He is a great player, both in going forward and defending, he will bolster the squad, and he gives us a new option.
“I’m really pleased that he has signed for us and I look forward to training and playing
with him in the future.”