Season Preview 2012/13: Nottingham Forest
CONSIDERING EVERYTHING that happened to Nottingham Forest last season, the Tricky Trees can probably count themselves extremely lucky to be in the Championship still.
The mental fortitude shown by players and staff alike to secure a 20th place finish and second-tier survival whilst enduring a change of management, the death of the owner and a woeful start to life at the City Ground for Steve Cotterill was, admirable, to say the least.
Steve McClaren resigned on October 2, leaving the club facing an uphill struggle to survive. Cotterill arrived from equally beleaguered Portsmouth and looked to have found the answer winning three of his first four. However, four points from nine games soon followed before the season evened itself out for Forest.
The takeover this summer has seen Omar Al-Hasawi arrive and replace Cotterill with his former coach, Sean O'Driscoll, who had in the mean time been appointed Crawley Town boss. Expecataions are high - understandably soStrengths:
A modest takeover.
We'll all seen and chortled at the way Leicester City have faltered since their super-rich owners took over, but Al-Hasawi appears to have taken note of his East Midland rivals and has appointed the well-respected O'Driscoll as manager. Whilst the Irishman might not be a glamorous name, he certainly knows how to assemble a squad and demands idyllic football from his players.Weakness':
Yet to add a striker, this is a side which seriously struggled for goals during long periods of last season. The likes of Dexter Blackstock, David McGoldrick, Marcus Tudgay, Matt Derbyshire, Ishmael Miller and Robbie Findley cannot afford to be so wasteful this season, now the club can afford replacements.Best business so far:
The appointment of O'Driscoll, a manager I would have loved to see in the dugout at the Vic' when Malky Mackay departed.
O'Driscoll enjoyed five years of success at Doncaster as well as six years previously at Bournemouth, over-achieving with both. If there is one thing O'Driscoll knows, it's how to get clubs moving in the right direction again.Star man:
All-action midfielder, Lewis McGugan.
Thirteen goals in 40 appearances from midfield two seasons ago proved that the 23 year-old knows where the back of the net is. Dangerous from distance, the Long Eaton-born midfielder has made over 170 appearances for the Tricky Trees since signing pro' forms from their academy in 2006.In:
Adlene Guedioura (Wolves) £1m, Danny Collins (Stoke City) undisc, Dan Harding (Southampton) undisc, Greg Halford (Portsmouth) undisc & Simon Gillett (Doncaster Rovers) free.Out:
Garath McCleary (Reading) free, Luke Chambers (Ipswich Town) free, Joel Lynch (Huddersfield Town) free, Paul Anderson (Bristol City) free & Chris Gunter (Reading) £2.3m.Prediction:
A marked improvement on last season, they could be dark horses if everything clicks. Sadly though, a lack of goals from their goal-shy strikers will let them down without improvement in that department. 13th.chrisgwfc:
With the takeover being completed you would expect the forthcoming money to rebuild a depleted squad. A case of who knows where they will finish because of the takeover.