Nottingham Forest Almost "Out of the Woods"

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst IApril 21, 2009

Nottingham Forest have got within a hair's breadth of saving their season from the dreaded yo-yo factor. That is, promotion followed by instant relegation.

Manager Billy Davies has steadied the ship and actually made a very tangible difference since his appointment, following the sacking of Colin Calderwood.

At the weekend they managed to stick it out against Coventry in the first half and had the ability to secure the points with one goal and a clean sheet.

Not normally the result a side struggling at the foot of the table can pull together.

Managers at Forest over the years have always been in the giant shadow of Brian Clough, and with his bust to greet you when you arrive at the City Ground along with a stand named for him, it is very difficult to ignore the impact the man had on the club.

If Davies has done anything in his time at Forest, it seems to be that he has probably remained true to the memory of "Old big 'ead" and tried to re-instill the pride in the shirt and the duty to the fans that were always the hallmark of sides managed by Clough.

Davies looks to have gone about his job very effectively though, and his appointment at this stage looks to have been very well thought out. If they are able to get at least one more win in their last two, it could prove to be a master stroke.

Regardless of whether they are playing in the Championship or League One next season you would think that Davies has done enough already to hold onto the job in either case.

If it is indeed the Championship they are in, it could even be a possibility that Forest could again challenge for a place in the Premiership, a league in which they were one of the founding members, but also a place they have not seen for many a year.

With two games to play against Blackpool and Southampton you would have to fancy Forest for at least three points and possibly six which would have them safe and ready for the challenge of the new season.

The thing is about these matches in such circumstances is that it is never as cut and dry as form leading up to a game.

Both of these opponents will want to beat them and with both still in danger of slipping out of the league they will want the points that are on offer in these matches just as much.

Davies will be more aware of this than anyone right now and will no doubt be preparing his team mentally and physically for the challenge that lies ahead in the final days of this Championship season.