Date:Saturday March 7 2009
Vital Forest editor Kevin Finnegan kindly answers our questions ahead of today's game at the City Ground.
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Nottingham Forest haven't had the season they would have hoped for back in the Summer, where do you think it went wrong for you and former manager Colin Calderwood?
Most Forest fans believe we were lucky to go up last season and will redilly admit that we only achieved promotion because both Carlisle and Donny bottled it on the last day.
Calderwood took us as far as he could. He assembled a side that was OK for League 1, but unfortunately not good enough for the Championship.
His tactics, were negative and generally poor. He rarely had a plan 'B' and many players were often played out of position. He did have his good points. He made some excellent signings in Earnie, Garner and Moussi, but he was let down in the tactical department and was usually out-thought by the opposition. It was right for him to go.
In pre-season, what was the general expectations from the fans this season?
I think the general consensus was that we could finish mid table. Some of the players we hoped would be good enough for this level have been a let down. It was the signings of Earnshaw and Garner that gave us hope, but most fans thought we should have strengthened at the back as well. The club can claim to have been unfortunate with injuries, (we've had more than our fair share) but the squad was always very thin and we had a lack of depth from the start.
Billy Davies has now taken over, after failing miserably at Derby last season, how have things changed at the club since his appointment?
One difference you will notice on Saturday, is a willingness to fight. There is now a passion in the side, that has been sadly missing for too long. We are now more than a match for the toughest and meanest of opponents.
Paul Anderson opted to join you over us in the Summer on another loan, how has he performed for you this year?
He had his best game for us on Tuesday night, against Preston. I don't think we've seen the same player that played for you last year, but hopefully under Davies he will flourish. He has pace though and you can see the potential he has.
Apart from Nathan Tyson, who else will be a big threat to us on Saturday?
Tyson will probably miss out due to yet another injury. You're mate from Cardiff, Little Earn is the obvious answer, but look out for McCleary on the wing...and if he plays, keep an eye on our French midfielder, Guy Moussi. He's the size of a house, doesn't take prisoners and knows how to pass. We love him.
Swansea City are currently pushing for a play-off place this season, what were your predictions for us this season? Should you have matched our achievements so far?
I thought you'd cope in the Championship, although I'll admit you've done better than I thought you would. Martinez is a smart cookie, you have a decent manager there. I don't think many Forest fans thought we'd do any better than you.
Despite what opposition fans might say, we don't think we`re better than anyone else, or that we have a divine right to play in the Championship, or above. We are where we are, because we deserve to be. You have a good chance of making the Play-offs and it wouldn't surprise me if you did. It's as tight at the top of this League, as it is at the bottom, so it`s going to be a dogfight for the Play-off places as well.
What are your predictions for the game?
I originally went for a 3-1 defeat, but the mood in town is a little more optimistic, now we have a couple of signings to brag about. We'll be more of a match for you this time round, than we have been in our recent meetings. I'm hopeful of an entertaining 2-2 draw. I have to say though, that I love beating you guys. Always adds a bit of extra spice when the Welsh boys come to town, haha.
You're 3 points above the relegation places, can you avoid a relegation battle? Where do you think you'll finish?
If I was writing this on Monday, the answer would have been relegation. Now we have a couple of newbies and rumours of more, we should have enough to avoid the drop. 4th bottom will do now.
Thanks to Kev for answering our questions.
Visit the site from 1:30pm as we post up our Match Live article for all the build up to today's big game.
Date:Saturday March 7 2009
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|7.||John Jubal Murphy||1|
|1. Man City||4||4||0||0||10||12|
|2. Crystal Palace||4||3||0||1||3||9|
|3. Leicester City||4||2||2||0||3||8|
|5. Man Utd||4||2||1||1||1||7|
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