Forest can push for top-two finish

Monday 29th July 2013 14:56

Billy Davies: Can have Nottingham Forest pushing for automatic promotion

Billy Davies: Can have Nottingham Forest pushing for automatic promotion

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Nottingham Forest FanZoner Dan Mounser believes the Reds could be in with a chance of automatic promotion under Billy Davies this season.

How has your pre-season gone?

I know it's a bit of a cliche but I don't really read too much into pre-season games. It's more about getting players some extra fitness, match practice and also clearing the cobwebs from the summer.

Having said that, Forest's pre-season has generally been positive. We have remained unbeaten even though it has been against lower opposition. It would have been nice to have tested the squad against Premier League or a top flight European side.

Are you happy with how things have shaped up in terms of transfers - both in and out?

Not much has taken place in terms of transfers out yet to be honest. The main talking point I suppose is Lewis McGugan, who has joined Watford. I'm not too concerned and, as already mentioned in a previous blog of mine, I think a fresh start and change of scenery with serve him well and help to bring out his undoubted potential.

It's still very much a working progress with incomings, although we have been reasonably busy. Jack Hobbs, Dorius De Vries and Jamie Mackie are all proven players at Championship level, and Gonzalo Jara Reyes and Eric Lichaj are astute Bosman signings.

I don't know much about Algerian International Djamel Abdoun but along with Mackie, he should give us the much needed width we desperately lacked last season.

You get the impression that Forest's spending isn't over yet and we have been strongly linked with the likes of Burnley's Charlie Austin, Leicester's Wes Morgan and Celtic's Kelvin Wilson so don't be surprised to see another two or three signings before the window closes.

Is your current manager the right man for the job?

There simply isn't a better fit for Nottingham Forest right now than Billy Davies. My only concern is the amount of control he seems to hold throughout the club but it's a results business so as long as things are going right on the pitch then these sort of issues almost become irrelevant.

Dare to dream - if everything clicked into place what's the best you could hope for?

The dream of course must be automatic promotion and with a couple more quality additions, a bit of luck and a decent start, then I don't see why this can't be achieved or at least be the goal.

A lot of clubs in this division would love to have a squad likes ours so it's just a case of getting the best out of them which is exactly what Davies has done in the past not only at Forest, but at previous clubs as well.

Back to reality - what are your realistic expectations for the new campaign?

I think a top-six finish is a must really. That would not only be an improvement on last season but should also be where a squad like ours should be. As previously mentioned, with two or three more quality additions I would like to hope that we could be in with a shout of competing for the automatic spots.

Who will visiting scouts be keeping an eye on this season?

Adlene Guedioura is reportedly being courted by a couple of Premier League sides, and a few clubs have shown an interest in Dexter Blackstock recently. Youngsters such as Karl Darlow and Jamie Paterson could also be seen as stars for the future.

If you had to pick one player who'd be fit for every minute of every game, who would it be?

This is quite a difficult question as Andy Reid had most assists last season and can't really play every minute of every game, but I will probably go for Chris Cohen. He always gives 100%, can play in a number of different roles or positions and has a real chance of being team captain this year.

On the flip side (without being cruel!), who is the player with most to prove?

I would go for Matt Derbyshire. He has been the in-form player in pre-season and has already scored four goals.

He was brought in under Steve McClaren but his Forest career stalled so was shipped out on loan to the likes of Oldham and Blackpool in recent times. I get the impression that it is a fresh start and clean slate, though, this season so if he can stay fit and continue hitting the back of the net then there's every chance he can be a valuable player this campaign.

It's a similar scenario with Ishmael Miller as well.

If you could sign any one player from any other side in the same division who would you plump for?

Another tricky question. The Championship has become such a good league that there are number of quality players around.

Wigan's Callum McManaman and Bolton's Chris Eagles are both excellent midfielders. I've also always rated Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie as he has a peach of a left foot.

I wouldn't mind seeing Garath McCleary back either, but as I think we need a 20+ goal scorer then I would have to go for a striker so maybe someone like QPR's Loic Remy, Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes or Burnley's Charlie Austin. I think I'll go for Austin.

If you only win one game all season who would you take three points from?

The obvious answer is Derby but if a scenario occurred where we needed to take three points off someone to secure automatic promotion then I'm sure the majority would prefer to take Premier League football next season rather than a win over the neighbours.

You can follow Dan on Twitter at @DanMounser - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too for links to all the latest blogs.

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