The final game of the season approaches, and Palace will be treating Forest to the first appearance of next season’s strip…we chat to Vital Nottingham Forest in advance.
With thanks to Kev.
1) Has the season gone as you expected and what has been the highlight and lowlight so far?
I personally believe, we are where we deserve to be and anything from here on in is a bonus. Like many fans at the beginning of the season, I expected us to build on what we achieved in the previous campaign, but alas the club failed to strengthen during the summer and did too little too late in January. Doing the double over Derby will live long in the memory for me, when it comes to reflecting on the 2010/11 season, as will the 4-2 defeat at Leeds and the diabolical performance from referee Mark Halsey.
2) You’ve got one foot in the play offs, do you think a point would do or will you definitely be going for all three? Is it a case of anything but a loss or do you have one eye on QPR?
A point will do, but we are not at our best when playing for one and have form for shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re at our best when we play positive and attacking football. We can play that way, but that style has eluded us for long stretches of this campaign. It’s impossible to try and second guess a Billy Davies team selection, but I think one or two key players could be getting a ‘rest.’
3) Should you get the play off place, how do you rate your chances of returning to Top Flight football? Would Forest fans be happy with this season’s progress even if you missed out or does Billy Davies’ future hang on promotion?
I think we are the 6th best team in the division, although we may finish 5th. Reading, Swansea and Cardiff are stronger teams, although alot of people will disagree. Norwich and QPR are worthy winners IMO and as said before, anything else for me is a bonus. However, Blackpool came from nowhere last year and won the Playoffs. I wouldn’t say no to that.
There is much debate and opinion on the future of Billy Davies. He’s the best manager we have had in 12 years IMO and it would be a mistake to get rid. What the immediate future hold for himself and the club is anyone’s guess. I hope he’s still here next season, regardless of how this one pans out.
4) Where do you see your current weaknesses? Any clues will be greatly welcomed 🙂
Our normally solid and reliable defence has turned to jelly and is leaking goals of late. We’ve let 11 in during the past 6 games, but we have scored 17 to counter that.
5) Who will be your key dangerman?
Midfielder Lewis McGugan is top scorer for us with 12 goals. Everything good we do at present seems to come through him.
6) Are you surprised to see Palace dodge the bullet again or were you surprised to see us struggle so woefully away from home this season?
You’ve had a couple of bad years and done well to maintain Championship status considering the things that have happened. I had you down as relegation favourites at Christmas and predicted you would go down, so you have me to thank for being safe!
7) What are your thoughts on Dougie Freedman?
Early days, but he’s done the job in keeping you safe this term. I have good memories of his playing days with us, although he played in a pretty poor side back then.
8) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?
Darren Ambrose. We’ve been linked with him on countless occasions now, a bit like Neil Danns. I was surprised he opted to sign a new contract when you were in so much trouble, so he clearly holds CPFC close to his heart.
9) Who do you see as our main threat?
Darren Ambrose again. Much like our McGugan, he’s a playmaker and can change a game in an instant. Although not as prolific this season, I remember last year he bagged his fair share. Always looks best on the wing for me and that’s where he would have played for us IMO, if we had managed to sign him that is. Andy Dorman was one of few shining lights for you this year at the City Ground and I’ve always rated your keeper Speroni.
10) Where would you say our current weaknesses are in terms of how you will approach the match?
You simply don’t score enough and on the occasions I’ve seen Dean Moxey play this season, let’s just say I’m glad he doesn’t play for us.
11) Finally, a prediction please…
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