Nottingham Forest have enjoyed a summer of investment, but can they make a return to the promised land?
Ins: Dan Harding (undisclosed amount), Greg Halford (undisclosed amount), Danny Collins (undisclosed amount), Adlene Guedioura (undisclosed amount) Simon Gillett (free transfer)
Outs: Chris Gunter (undisclosed amount), Paul Anderson (free transfer), Joel Lynch (free transfer), Luke Chambers (free transfer), Danny Meadows (free transfer), Garath McCleary (free transfer), George Boateng (released), Paul Smith (released), Marlon Harewood (released)
Strengths: The team could finally have a bit of stability. What a season Nottingham Forest fans had to endure in 2011/12. First Billy Davies was shown the door in favour of Steve McLaren last June, before the ‘wally with a brolly’ saw his reign cut short after just two wins in the opening 10 games.
Steve Cotterill then sat in the hot seat and barely guided Forest to live another day in the Championship.
Now though, the club has been taken over by Kuwaiti tycoon Fawaz Al Hasawi and first-team coach Sean O’Driscoll is next up to take charge of proceedings. Most teams don’t get this much activity in a decade, let alone in the space of just 12 months.
Weaknesses: They are still a team in transition. This much has been made crystal clear by O’Driscoll after Forest surrendered a two-goal lead to draw with Notts County in a friendly match.
Last season’s performance: Forest had their backs against the wall for most of the 2011/12 campaign, due to all the changes going on at the club. In the end, they finished in 19th and fans were finally able to breathe again going into the summer break.
If they were a celebrity: Sugababes. Both of them are hardly recognisable to just a few years ago. It’s said that change is good, but a complete overhaul may be taking this to the extreme.
You might not have known: Away days were a hoot at the City Ground last season. Nottingham Forest won just six games at home in 2011/12 – only basement club Doncaster Rovers fared worse – and lost on 12 occasions in league competition. It’s time to give those loyal Forest fans something to cheer about again.
Championship title odds: 11/1 with Paddy Power
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