With just two days until Nottingham Forest take on Brighton away at the AMEX stadium, we at the72 decided to ask some of the Forest fans a number of questions, so that we could bring you the view as the fans see it.
Fans of Nottingham Forest were asked about their thoughts on the transfers Forest have made, how they thought Forest did in preseason, how they feel about Dougie Freedman and how optimistic they are for the season ahead.
Forest’s first capture of the summer was Matt Mills who signed on a free transfer, after being released from Bolton. Luke said ‘I think Mills is exactly what we need, he is an experienced centre back who is a natural leader and last season we really missed that’.
Jamie Ward also joined from arch rivals Derby County, this was also on a free transfer. Jamie (not Jamie Ward) believes that under the circumstances of Forest’s transfer embargo,manager Dougie Freedman has done exceptionally well. ‘Transfers in general, I think we’ve done great business given the embargo and squad limitations – Ward and Mills are both proven at this level and to get them ahead of other clubs who can offer more in wages gives me confidence that they see something in the club’.
Another fan also shares this opinion, MacKenzie believes that Forest ‘need a nasty player,someone who lets other teams know that he is there, Ward is exactly that and can create a goal’, he also said that ‘Mills and Hamer are proven at this level and can certainly hold their own in a play-off chasing XI’.
Jamie still thinks that the reds need a striker, with Britt Assomablonga and Matty Fryatt injured, their only available forwards are Dexter Blackstock and youngster Tyler Walker. ‘We still lack a striker of real providence and I was surprised that we didn’t offer Nicky Maynard a deal following his trial’.
Despite only winning one game in preseason, the Forest’s fan we spoke to still believe that it was a productive summer for the reds. Luke had two thoughts on preseason, he said that ‘its always difficult to tell how good the side will be from preseason games’. Dougie Freedman used Forest’s preseason trip to Sweden to test and experiment with his side, playing his players out of position and in different formations throughout each game. When they returned it seems that these experiments were worthwhile, drawing games with Doncaster, Swansea and Aston Villa, they also beat Stevenage. He also said that ‘against Villa we looked good and moved the ball around well and if it wasn’t for Scott Sinclair I think we could have won the game easily’.
Opinions on Dougie Freedman
Freedman is the 7th manager to take charge of Forest since the Al-Hasawi family completed their take over of the club in 2012. We asked fans what their thoughts on Freedman were, considering the Financial Fair Play restrictions he faces when trying to add new faces. Luke says that ‘Dougie is exactly what we need at the moment, maybe he isn’t the right manager to take us into the Premier League but I have however been impressed with how he has dealt with the embargo and how he has removed the deadweight from the side’.
MacKenzie shares a different opinion to Luke, ‘I don’t have full faith in Dougie as a manager and unless a real star of a manager becomes available, I think Fawaz will play it safe and stick with him’.
How optimistic are you for the season ahead?
`Finally, we asked all three fans about how optimistic they are for the new season. MacKenzie said ‘I see us finishing around 15th but with a good few loan signings and a striker we could push into the top 10’.
Luke also remains cautious about being too optimistic, but admits the lack of expectation could mean Forest do really well. ‘With being a Forest fan, no matter who’s in the squad, you always have that sense of hope that we can do well and maybe because there isn’t as much pressure on us this time around, we might actually do well, although I don’t expect better then a mid table finish.’
Jamie, on the other hand is quietly confident about Forest doing well, ‘I think it will be a tough season but I am quietly optimistic, I don’t think 6th place is out of our reach, however if we do finish outside the play-offs, as long as its not below 10th I won’t be to displeased.’
So there we have it, we now have the opinions of some Forest fans, and its safe to say there are mixed views. Non of them mentioned promotion, however they were all impressed with the transfers Forest have made. They all said that its hard to understand how good the team is from preseason, and there were mixed views about Freedman. It seems that stability is the most important thing at Forest right now, and judging by what the fans say, it seems Forest are on track to achieving that. We would like to thank Luke, MacKenzie and Jamie for taking time out of their day to give us their views.