Jake Brown’s Nottingham Forest Blog: Another rollercoaster ride of a season

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With a scale of emotions as wide as the league is open, excitement is guaranteed, success may vary. ‘Rollercoaster ride’ seems the selling point every season now.

One weekend you seemed sure Forest were on the up, play-offs maybe, the next weekend you were knocking on a Barnsley door that just wouldn’t shift. Then came the all too familiar feeling of ‘maybe not this year’.

A less than settled pre-season, meant Forest had a late start on their rivals in terms of team cohesion and understanding.

Some inspiring signings freshened up our squad, names such as the promising Henri Lansbury, Premiership quality in Simon Cox, and the beloved Adlene Guedioura.

We started to see much reason for optimism once again.

A rushed appointment of a manager in Sean O’Driscoll, although seemed the perfect tonic for Forest. We’ve never done well with a big name manager since the ‘Great One’.

The attractive football that followed had us fans purring. Co-incidently, a scrappy opening day 1-0 win over eventual relegation doomed Bristol City was O’Driscoll’s first match in charge against the team he would soon find himself being relegated with come May.

Good solid wins away at Wolves and Barnsley came after our first away win at struggling Peterborough at the fifth time of trying on the road.

That, followed by a convincing 3-1 home win against table-toppers Cardiff, was soon followed by a 4-1 reverse at home to Millwall.

A strange inconsistency began to spell the end for O’Driscoll.

Various decisions and his tactical over-thinking became frustrating, despite a Boxing Day thrashing of rivals Leeds 4-2 - it was time for a change it seemed.

More inconsistency ensued with the surprising and strange appointment of Alex McLeish.

Some terrible performances away at Blackburn and Bristol City, forgetting the 3-0 bashing we got at home to Watford, soon saw the exit door swing open once again at the City Ground with the Scot lasting just seven games.

There was only one answer by now - Billy Davies.

An SOS was laid out to the Scotsman to re-ignite our season, and he duly answered.

Results quickly improved, with a run of 10 games without defeat, including six straight wins.

Add to that a convincing 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield and a great 2-1 win away at high-flying Hull, and all of a sudden the expectation returned.

Then came the badly timed international break, and one win in our last eight games, against Millwall away, was just not enough to secure a desired play-off spot.

Rivals Leicester City came to the City Ground on the last day and we still had a shot if results went our way.

A tense atmosphere culminated in a tit-for-tat 3-2 reverse in a crazy ending which somehow saw an inconsistent Leicester side sneak into the last play-off spot.

Maybe next year?