"I think quite a few people will be surprised but I am delighted to be here and Nottingham Forest is the only thing that counts now,” he told BBC East Midlands Today.
"It was to spice up the local rivalry and it got me a bit more stick than I wanted. I enjoyed it at the time but hopefully the fans can see past that and get behind me."
“I would not have come here if I did not believe we were capable of challenging for promotion this year," added Ward in The Belfast Telegraph.
"The players are good enough. It is just about being consistent for 46 games. Then you see where it takes you.”
Forest are one of the biggest clubs in England, but they have been stuck in the Championship for a number of years now.
The Reds have a transfer embargo hanging over them, which will restrict them from splashing the cash this summer, but manager Dougie Freedman does have a good squad.
It is a case of the players staying fit and being on form. Forest played relatively well in the opening months of last season, but injuries and poor form in the second half cost them a place in the top six.
If Freedman’s side make a strong start and win their home matches, then they could be in contention of promotion to the Premier League.