Forest on right path under Davies

Nottingham Forest FanZoner Dan Mouncer reflects on a difficult season for the Reds and looks forward to a calmer campaign in 2013-14.

Last Updated: 10/05/13 at 14:33 Post Comment

Nottingham Forest: Just missed out on Championship play-offs

Nottingham Forest: Just missed out on Championship play-offs

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If Nottingham Forest's Championship campaign had been the 400-metre hurdles, they clipped the final jump and were beaten on the line.

The difference being that Forest's hurdles were much higher and more difficult to overcome than everyone else's right from the starting pistol.

The Al-Hasawi family's takeover last summer dragged on longer than expected meaning Forest were playing catch-up with the rest before they had even laced their running boots.

A season of stability under Sean O'Driscoll was expected, and a mid-table finish would have been seen as a decent return given the uncertainty, lack of squad members and new manager methods.

Consistency and stability are not often associated with many football clubs these days but Forest have had more events in 10 months that most clubs would have in 10years (excluding Blackburn Rovers perhaps)

But nobody could have predicted just how much of a rollercoaster season it would be.

With the managerial merry-go-round, the aforementioned takeover, change of chairman in December and numerous non-playing staff sackings and suspensions, it is credit to Billy Davies and his staff that the Reds even had a chance of making the play-offs at all.

I don't necessarily agree with Davies' assessment that we were in a relegation battle when he took over, but looking at how competitive the bottom of the table was this year, the season could easily have downward spiralled without some instantly good results from a side that was seriously low on morale.

Let's be honest, after the failed George Boyd eye test on transfer deadline day and subsequent resignation of Alex McLeish, the club was a laughing stock. The Al-Hasawi's credentials were being questioned by the fans and media alike, and the search for a third manager since sacking Steve Cotterill on completion of the takeover was already underway.

Whether it be luck or judgement, the appointment of Davies was undoubtedly the turning point in the season, galvanising both players and supporters.

So although painful to see Leicester celebrating at the full-time whistle last week, I think Forest simply did well to still be in the mix overall.

The non-playing staff sackings can be viewed as a negative thing in terms of continuity but it was a shrewd move for the long term. Nottingham Forest have been mismanaged for so long and I think a total review of the running of the club was long overdue.

It doesn't matter if you are the tea lady or the chief executive, if you become stagnant or don't do the job to the best of your ability then change is necessary.

You can already see the improvements in PR through keeping the supporters involved and up-to-date, and long may that continue.

It remains to be seen whether 'Billy's men' can fill the voids that the sackings have left but at least they should be all singing from the same hymn sheet - even if the hymn sheet is being written by Billy himself perhaps.

But change should not be on the agenda this summer. If we can keep the majority of last season's loan players together with the current crop then we shouldn't be a million miles away.

Pace in wide areas is a must, a commanding centre half and maybe some competition for Karl Darlow between the sticks and we could be challenging for automatic promotion rather than the play-offs next season. That's providing there are no false starts of course...

Follow him on Twitter at @DanMounser - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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