Nottingham Forest & Mansfield Look Good to Make NG Postcode Fashionable.
Nottingham Forest and Mansfield Town appear to be gearing up to put their county and East Midlands football back on the map if the early signs are anything to go by. The Stags target is to get into the championship over the next 2-3 years whilst Forest finally look to have shaken off the debt hurdle that has held back a club that were once the neutrals favourite underdogs. Both sides have great managers, Cox stayed calm and kept the faith, as the Stags came good last season, after many of us had written his managerial obituary.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.
Billy Davies is a canny chap, driven perhaps by the motto ‘third time lucky’, who can deliver a return to the Premiership. He deserved better than that cruel contract termination in June 2011 after taking Forest to the play-offs twice. McClaren, his replacement, got nowhere near him, ensuring, now deceased Chairman Nigel Doughty, failed to get a just return on the reported £100,000,000 he ploughed in before his death. In July 2012 the Al-Hasawi family, from Kuwait, purchased the club but, Sean O’Driscoll and then 40 day wonder Alex McLeish failed to deliver. Frank Clark and others were also dismissed as the shambles continued.
Enter Billy Davies, just 20 months after his exit, who duly guided Forest to 8th after 11 games without defeat. Armed with a decent war chest you can bet he will deliver this season, building on a side that had already started to click. Leeds will take some stopping but Forest are the dark horse bet to go straight up (third favourites at 9-1). Expect a move for free agent Eric Lichaj (ex-Villa left sided player) and a double swoop for Adam Le Fondre and Billy Sharp to get the goals. Davies will have to wait for a decision on Billy Sharpe, with the striker not set for talks over his Southampton future until June 10th. but Reading do look set to cash in on Adam Le Fondre after relegation despite rebuffing Forest’s biggest bookies rivals for the crown, Leeds United. Rob Hulse (released by QPR) is also doing the rounds, but Davies is a patient calculating chap. He will have plenty more irons in the fire to ensure he finishes his quest.
The Stags, will fancy their chances after going up as Conference Champions, following in a long line of clubs who have achieved back-to-back promotions. Out went Paul Bolland, Jamie Hand, Shane Redmond, Gary Roberts, Jamie Tolley, Andy Owens, Exodus Geohaghon and Nick Wright, whilst Chris Clements, Colin Daniel, James Jennings, Adam Murray, George Pilkington, Godfrey Poku and Jake Speight are all under contract. Ross Dyer, Ritchie Sutton, Matt Rhead, Lee Stevenson and Lindon Meikle, Lee Beevers and Anthony Howell have all signed new deals too, although Luke Jones has decided to try his luck at Stevenage.
There have been three new faces so far, defender Paul Back (Oldham & Tranmere) has joined along with central midfielders Keiran Murtagh (Macc Town) and Jamie McGuire (Fleetwood). Cox is still looking for half a dozen new faces, but the clubs ambition may change the mind of want away striker Matt Green. He was quality again last year, but the trial with Birmingham City has come to nothing and the Huddersfield rumour has been quashed. Keep him then add another winger, central defender and striker, then the Stags look good to go straight up.