Vital Forest ed. Kev Finnigan gives us the inside track on The Tricky Trees dismal campaign to date
Half-way point of the season roughly now, how has the campaign panned out compared to your hopes and fears?
As supporters we all had high hopes at the start of the campaign, but those hopes were quickly dashed and the fears soon became apparent and even realised. It was obvious after only 10 games that we were in for a season of struggle and at just after the half way stage of the season, we find ourselves firmly entrenched in the relegation zone and in serious danger of the drop. I honestly thought we were aiming for promotion, but that was before the shambles that was to unfold in the boardroom, as well as on the pitch.
How was the January Transfer Window for Forest?
We didn’t lose as many players as I thought we would. We have to sell before we buy now and have had to cut costs massively. The owner Nigel Doughty stood down as club chairman back in November and sadly died this week. He promissed to fund the current contracts and running costs of the club for the next two and a half years, but following his untimely death, we don’t truthfully know where we stand. Uncertain times lie ahead for NFFC at the moment.
We sold Wes Morgan and Patrick Bamford, to fund deals to bring in Higginbotham, Harewood, Elokobi and Guedioura. We also extended the loan deal for Man City’s Greg Cunningham until the end of the season. All in all, not bad business, but I’m unsure if Steve Cotterill has what it takes to make it work.
What do you pin the lack of goals recently on?
Our creative players have either not been selected (Radoslaw Majewski), or have been out of form, or played out of position (Lewis McGugan). Our strikers, apart from being below par, have also been guilty of missing a multitude of guilt edged chances in every game. Injuries haven’t helped, but Steve Cotterill has to shoulder some of the blame, with some rather perplexing team selections and formations.
Worst-case scenario and Forest get relegated – what will be the upshot for supporters, players, management and the ownership hierarchy (in brief!)?
The last time we were relegated to League One, the supporters stuck by the club and still turned up in numbers. This time will be different, with many already pledging not to return if we go down. The financial implications, mean we stand to lose somewhere in the region of £5m per year. Cotterilll was surprisingly given a three and a half year contract to take this job, so I don’t think we can afford to sack him even if he takes us down. Bringing in Sean O’Driscoll might be our saving grace, but only time will tell. We need new owners for sure. Who they will be and when, is another matter. What happens if and when new owners come in, is anyone’s guess. We hope for the best of course.
Who will be the key man for Forest on Saturday?
Andy Reid has been the only player has come out of the season so far with any credit, but he doesn’t get selected often enough in my opinion, to have more of an impact. New loan signing Adlene Guedioura from Wolves had a fairly impressive debut in the 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley a fortnight ago, so we hope for big things from him.
If you could swap one Forest player for a Watford player, who would they be and why?
John Eustace for Lewis McGugan please! McGugan is something of an enigma. Brilliant and spectacular on his day, but unfortunately due to laziness and a couldn’t give a shit attitude, he’s a passenger. In his defence, he has been played out of position for most of this season, but I still expect a player to put in a shift. Eustace is the sort of no nonesense player we are desperate for right now.
Where will you finish this season?
4th from bottom will do.
1-0 home win please.
Hopefully we aren’t the team that help Forest end their home hoodoo, Kev!