Nottingham Forest have been known for their managerial controversies in the past, with a number of changes to the position in a short number of years.
Under chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi, the manager position at Forest has changed hands five times as managers such as Sean O’ Driscoll, Alex Mcleish and Billy Davies have been shown the door at the City Ground.
As a club legend Stuart Pearce took charge last summer and Nottingham Forest went into the 2014/2015 Sky Bet Championship season optimistic of a top-six finish, a feat that seemed likely with the quality at Pearce’s disposal.
However, after a baron spell of only three wins in 23 matches under the manager, fans believed would take Forest to the Premier League, a top-six finish seemed a mile away as Forest were looking over their shoulders in fear of a relegation fight.
Stuart Pearce’s dismissal came as no surprise after a 1-0 home defeat to Championship strugglers Millwall, seeing Forest drop further away their target.
However, the arrival of Dougie Freedman as Nottingham Forest manager sparked hope into their season once again, with an impressive run at the start of his time in charge as Forest’s quality finally began to show.
Despite the fact that a play-off place is now out of reach after two consecutive defeats to play-off contenders Norwich and Wolves, Freedman has done an excellent job in turning Forest’s season around to avoid the bottom half of the table and to encourage his squad to play some quality football.
Forest’s brand of football has improved significantly under Freedman who has made a major impact at the City Ground since his arrival, seeing a number of impressive performances and more importantly, victories.
The long-ball football seen under Stuart Pearce has disappeared as the quality of the Forest squad has begun to show.
This is why I believe that his contract – keeping him at the City Ground until the end of the season – should be extended for next season.
I’m sure most Forest fans would agree, that another change in management would benefit no one. Forest have had eight in four years – this has got them nowhere in terms of getting to the Premier League.
Thus, it is important to plan for the future without preparing another clean slate.
Giving Freedman a longer-term contract would provide the stability needed to build a solid side under significant financial constraints next season, perhaps a side that could challenge for the top-six. Forest have a lot of quality in their squad, if this is managed in an effective way then Forest could be a great side next season. On the contrary, if another manager is appointed then turmoil could follow.
With next season the focus for teams with nothing to play for during the remaining of the fantastic 2014/2015 Sky Bet Championship season, the foundations must be placed to prepare for what is sure to be another tough season ahead. For Forest, this is imperative.
Contract talks appear to be underway between the club and Freedman, meaning that a new contract can be signed sooner rather than later.
This should a priority for the club as they search for stability. I say this most years, but next season could be a promising one for Nottingham Forest.