Quick links

Nottingham Forest

Three things Freedman must do this season to stay at Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman's contract situation at the City Ground is unstable.

After the sacking of Stuart Pearce, Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi appointed another ex-Forest player in Dougie Freedman.

The former Crystal Palace manager is currently unbeaten as Forest manager having won twice and drawn once, but his future is already in some doubt.

Freedman is on an 18-month contract at the City Ground, but Al-Hasawi suggested to the BBC this week that the situation will be reviewed at the end of the season, essentially saying that Freedman is on a contract until the end of the season, and if he impresses, he will stay longer-term.

With that in mind, here are three things that Freedman must do in order to show Al-Hasawi that he is the man to lead Forest into next season.

Improve home form

Under Stuart Pearce, there was just no fear factor when away teams traveled to the City Ground. The 30,000-seater stadium is one of the biggest in the Championship, and Freedman needs to use it to his benefit in the coming weeks and months. Before Freedman's appointment, Forest had lost three home games in a row, and whilst they beat Wigan 3-0 earlier this month, Freedman needs to build on that - starting with the visit of his former employers Bolton this weekend.

Win games and score goals without Britt Assombalonga

In a cruel twist for Freedman, his star player has already been ruled out for a year. Summer signing Britt Assombalonga has hit 15 goals for Forest since joining from Peterborough last summer, and has become Forest's talisman at the age of just 22. Now ruled out for 12 months due to a knee injury, Freedman needs to find a way to win games and score goals without him - just as Forest did against Blackpool last weekend. Sterner challenges are ahead for Forest though, so more will be expected of summer signing Matt Fryatt and Dexter Blackstock unless Freedman hits the loan market.

Push towards the play-offs

Forest currently lie 12 points off the play-off places, which seems like an insurmountable deficit at this point. With 15 games left to play, Forest would need a big swing in results to have a shot at the top six, but Freedman needs to keep them in the frame in the coming weeks. If he can show Al-Hasawi that he can have Forest challenging the top six, he will instill belief that he can do it next season, too. Pearce may have left him too much to do, but finishing in the top eight isn't out of the question.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch