Can Nottingham Forest Achieve Promotion?

Billy Davies is back at the City Ground to conclude unfinished business from his previous stint in charge of Nottingham Forest.

During his first spell in charge, he took the Midlands club to the semi-finals of the Championship playoff two seasons on the trot. In 2010 they were defeated by Blackpool and in 2011 they lost out to Swansea, after relatively successful campaigns both times round. Surprisingly, Davies was sacked after failing to take Forest into the Premiership, with Steve McClaren appointed as the manager to do what Davies couldn’t.

McClaren did not last long, but then neither have any of the successive replacements that have come in after him. Steve Cotterill, Sean O’Driscoll and Alex McCleish have all posed with a Forest scarf above their heads as photographers snapped images of the newest man to try his hand at leading this historic club. Eventually, all have realised that it isn’t quite as easy as they perhaps imagined it would be to lift this once giant of European football back into the top level of English football. 

On 7 February 2013 an announcement was made that Billy Davies was to return to the East Midlands club and try once again to achieve the promotion that eluded him previously. He always stated that he had “unfinished business” with the club and fans were extremely optimistic that ‘King Billy’ was the right man to be given the job. A draw against Bolton, followed by six consecutive victories, pushed Forest into the play-off spots close to the end of last season and the city began to believe that the Davies magic was already working wonders. However, they eventually suffered in the final few games and ended up coming 8th, which was still respectable considering where they had been earlier on in the campaign.

The summer break allowed the management to sort out and prepare for a full pre-season and arrange any transfers that they required. Kelvin Wilson returned to the club from Celtic and Djamel Abdoun was purchased from Olympiakos. Jamie Mackie added some firepower up front and even a cheeky bid to Leicester for former captain Wes Morgan was made, although nothing came of it.

The opening rounds of the Championship indicated that the hard work had paid off for Davies and his coaching team as Forest won the first three games without conceding a goal, scoring five in the process. A recent 1-1 away draw with Watford, which is definitely not a bad result, sees them sitting top of the table with 10 points from a possible 12 and playing some good football as well.

The season is long and hard and there are plenty more hurdles for Davies and Forest to overcome, but at least they have started with good intentions. As long as they can avoid injuries to key players, and continue to score goals, then there is every chance that they can once again make the play-offs, although Davies will probably prefer an automatic promotion spot, just in case…

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