Dougie Freedman did well when he initially joined the club, preventing the slide which had developed under old manager Stuart Pearce and getting the team into a position where the top six was realistic.
However, a poor run of results, which has coincided with injuries has left the club in 11th place, with ninth the highest that the side can possibly finish this season.
“The lads are massively disappointed. We gave a massive push to try and get into the play-offs but there were a lot of games, we were playing two or three times in a week,” said Gardner.
“It was just all a bit too much for us and it came a little bit too soon – Hopefully the lads can make it right next season.”
Clubs playing up to three times in a short space of time is not uncommon and it’s an unfortunate consequence of the way the fixture list is currently generated and managed.
There’s nothing Forest can do about it and it’s unlikely to change any time soon, but what Freedman can work on is improving his squad options to keep everyone happy.
The Scot needs to work his socks off in the transfer market at the end of the season, because the transfer embargo means Forest can’t go about their business in the same manner as some of their rivals.
If Freedman makes the right calls and signs the right players, there’s no reason the club can’t compete in the top six next year.