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Nottingham Forest legend slams 'embarrassing' defending from club this season

Garry Birtles has not been impressed with the standard of defending at Nottingham Forest this season.

This weekend presents a real chance for Nottingham Forest boss Dougie Freedman to lay down a marker as the new head coach, by getting one over on the club that sacked him earlier in the season.

Forest take on Bolton Wanderers with Freedman perhaps getting it easy with his first three games coming against out of nick outfits such as Brighton, Wigan and Blackpool.

But that last game against Blackpool was woeful. The standard of the pitch was not great but Forest should have held out for a win. But they conceded a late equaliser in a thrilling but disappointing game at Bloomfield Road.

One man who is sick of their lacklustre defending this season is Forest legend Garry Birtles.

Birtles had two separate stints at Forest, winning the European Cup with them in 1979 and 1980 under Brian Clough, wrote in his column for the Nottingham Post:

"Forest will have to defend a hell of a lot better than they did in the 4-4 draw at Blackpool if they want to beat the Trotters.

"In fact, they will have to defend a lot better than they have done all season.

"I've not seen many clubs concede such bad goals as the Reds have done, it's been embarrassing at times, which is really surprising given the quality of the defenders at the club."

Forest have conceded 46 goals this season, putting them among the bottom ten in the league for defensive record. The fact they are still tenth in the league but conceded that much pays homage to their attacking qualities. They have scored the seventh highest amount of goals in the league.

But Birtles is right. If Forest could just get their defending back on point they might still have a vague chance of making the playoff places.

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