Norwich City manager Daniel Farke has backed Nottingham Forest to challenge for a place in the Championship play-offs under Chris Hughton next season.
Farke takes his league leading Canaries to the City Ground on Wednesday night, and it is clear that he has a great deal of respect for his opposite number in the dugout this evening, Chris Hughton.
Following a disappointing start to the season, Forest have stabilised recently under Hughton, and now go into the game 17th in the Championship table, nine points clear of the relegation zone.
But while that slow start means it may now be too much to ask of Forest for them to make the top six this season, Farke does believe that such an achievement could be within their grasp come the 2021/22 campaign.
Speaking about Forest ahead of this evening’s game, Farke was quoted by the Pink Un as saying: “They are unbelievably competitive, well-structured and organised. You can see the handwriting of Chris. When this comes together, quality players and a coach who is able to give them a good structure and solidity against the ball, it is likely that the results will come.
“This is the reason why I think they are safe and don’t need to worry about a relegation battle any more, it’s more like they can already build on it.
“There is a gap to the play-off ranks already and actually with these types of players and the coach, they would have the opportunity to fight for this but this season it is perhaps a bit too much after a difficult start.
“But definitely during the next season I think they will be greedy to build on this and during the next games work on this momentum.”
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Indeed, it seems Farke is certainly a big fan of Hughton, as he went on to add: “It’s a pretty competitive side and unbelievably difficult to win points against them. If I’m honest I’m not surprised and not too impressed because I know the quality of Chris Hughton.
“It’s not that great to see a side that is managed by him because it is always difficult to beat a Chris Hughton side – but we will try our best and we also want to be competitive.”
I do think that Farke has a point with what he is saying about Forest here.
We saw only last season the potential to compete for a top six spot that the club possess, and while that is not something they have followed up on this time around, you do feel Hughton is a manager who can take them back in that direction.
Forest have already improved considerably since his appointment at The City Ground, and you imagine that will only continue the longer he is able to work with this squad.
As a result, next season, when he has been able to put his mark on the side in a summer transfer window as well, it would be something of a surprise not to see Forest pushing for a place in the play-offs under Hughton.