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Eleven games unbeaten - Freedman deserves some credit

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Lee Clarke feels that Dougie Freedman deserves a little bit of credit for steadying the ship and pleads for the social media bickering to cease.

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Eleven games without tasting defeat would usually be enough to have supporters of a club pulling in the same direction, unless of course the club is Nottingham Forest.

Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers sent Forest up to eleven on their run of unbeaten games and they go into Saturday’s trip to leaders Middlesbrough sitting third in the Sky Bet Championship form table.

Yet some so-called supporters still can’t give boss Dougie Freedman even a grain of credit for the job which he is doing.

If we rewind to just before the win over Derby County, Forest were struggling to win, score and at times put two passes together in games, so for us to now be on the run we are is a pretty incredible turn around if you ask me.

The team were, in parts, playing some lovely football but were simply not scoring enough goals to win, or even draw, football matches.

The shackles did come off briefly and in back-to-back games over Reading and Fulham the Reds smashed three goals to suggest the corner had been turned.

What happened then is that the Reds got themselves on a little unbeaten run, which saw boss Freedman start to work from the back again.

As my fellow long-suffering Forest fan with whom I attend games quite rightly pointed out last week, the reason for so many drawn games is probably down to the current unbeaten run.

Any kind of unbeaten run is something of which to be proud.  Admittedly,  if you draw 12 on the trot, you’re not going to be as proud as say six wins and six draws - but you get my point here.

Freedman has reined the team in again somewhat as he is frightened to lose now and wants to keep this run going, and in all honesty is there anything wrong with that?

Whilst I was scoffing my chips, curry sauce and battered sausage before the Birmingham game I overheard one supposed fan of the club suggest to his pal that he would rather Forest were losing than drawing. Yes, he really did say that and no, I haven’t made this up.

Let me tell you that had the club won one and then lost one for the last eleven games, the team would not be showing anywhere near the sort of confidence that they are currently showing. Not losing creates an inner belief within the whole squad and from where we were three months ago, the turnaround is nothing short of miraculous.

At one point I myself thought we might be that team that played lovely football but struggled for goals and subsequently spent the second half of the season fighting relegation – thankfully my instincts weren’t correct on that one.

Another factor in the amount of draws, particularly at home, is that teams no longer come to the City Ground to try and win.

They come with two banks of four and an absolute workhorse of a striker who they can lump the ball to on the counter and this in itself is testament to the run on which Forest find themselves.

It does annoy me when I see these so called supporters putting the mockers on everything on social media, some of whom probably don’t even go to the games anymore. Some might not go simply because Dougie Freedman is the manager – it honestly appears we have some supporters like that, which this being the case, is an almighty shame.

I would never tell anyone how to support their team and that just isn’t in my nature. Indeed, the beauty of supporting a football club is that you will always get contrasting opinions between supporters, but the word 'perspective' should ring a lot louder in some people’s minds at the moment.

Regardless of which way you choose to look at it, Dougie Freedman has done a lot of good things for Nottingham Forest Football Club. He has signed quality acquisitions on a shoestring budget, given young players the chance to shine in the first team and on top of that, he holds the football club very close to his heart.

I appreciate he isn’t the finished article tactically but also remain convinced that he will get there given time. At this moment in our season the club looks in a lot healthier place than it was and long may that continue.

As for the childish bickering and point proving on social media... We’re all Forest aren’t we?

Lee Clarke is a programme Contributor for various Football League Clubs and a news writer for @FLeagueWorld