The Name Clough Is Back On Trentside #FM16



Nottingham Forest have signed Bolton Wanderers promising forward Zach Clough. Clough will go straight in to the 1st team squad for the trip to Holland later this month. Born in Denton, Greater Manchester, Clough came through the Bolton Wanderers academy having joined the club at the age of 8. He made his debut for the first team aged 19 on 3 January 2015 when he started and scored the winning goal in a 1–0 home win against local rivals Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup 3rd round. Clough can also play in a central attacking midfielder role.


The name Clough is a name held in the hearts of Forest fans after the legendary Brian Clough led the Nottingham club to European glory.Clough’s son Nigel also had a super career at the club.

“Zach comes to the club with heaps of potential, this lad can go on and have a good career here in Nottingham”

This is the club’s first confirmed signing of the summer as the club prepares for life in the top flight. It is believed Forest have paid in the region of £7.5m for the 21 year old.

forest man

Breaking News: Nottingham Forest In Talks With Japanese Star #FM16


I can confirm that German club Mainz have accepted a bid from Nottingham Forest for Japanese star Yoshinori Muto. Yoshinori has got the qualities that we are looking for and can play in a few positions. I think this will be a superb signing for the club. The 23 year old Japanese International joined Mainz last season from FC Tokyo.


Nottingham Forest manager Skidmore hopes to tie up the deal shortly after offering a contract, Muto should be granted a work permit should the deal be finalised.

“I am now looking at building the squad with our desired transfer targets as we continue to build on the foundations we lay down last season. I can also confirm that Jamie Paterson as returned from his loan spell at Huddersfield Town and will be in the first team squad for the coming season. I will be spending the next few days trying to finalise some of our targets in time for our pre season training camp in Holland”.

“I have also got a meeting lined up with the board to discuss mine and their expectations for our return to the Premier League. I am also looking for a new assistant manager following Lennie Lawrence anouncing his retirement from the game. I stated last season that I was on the lookout for a Director of Football to work alongside and that remains the same with hope that I can get someone in to the role that as links to the club”.

Well that’s all for today, I hope to bring news of an addition to the squad tomorrow evening.

forest man




Record Breaking Season Ends With Nottingham Forest Crowned Champions #FM16


The curtain has come down on the 2015-2016 season with us being promoted as Champions to the Premier League.

We ended the season 23 games undefeated in The Championship as we marched on to the title and a record points tally of 113 points and 28 clean sheets from our 46 league games. We did not lose a league game since December. The City Ground was a fortress with only 4 league goals being scored against us in Nottingham. Nelson Oliveira scored a total of 45 goals in all competitions including a club record 41 in the league out of a league record 123 total goals for us.  We also managed to reach the FA Cup Semi Final were we lost 0-1 against Manchester City. On the way to the Semi Final we knocked both North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs out of the competion.

When I set out on this save I never imagined the success that we were to have in our first season, I said I wanted to push for a playoff spot but never thought we would dominate the league like we have by winning it by 29 points. Below are a few screen shots of our season.

January 2016 

We were on fire in January with big wins against both Birmingham and Middlesbrough plus we knocked Spurs out of the cup in their own back garden.

january 16

February 2016

Four wins and 1 draw cemented us firmly on to the top of the table 

feb 16

March 2016

A perfect month ended with 2 big wins against rivals Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County ensuring promotion to the Premier League.

march 16

sheff wed



board praise


April / May 2016

We secured the title with a 4-0 win at home to Brentford in the opening match of the month with record breaking Oliveira netting an hat-trick.

april may 16

win title brentford


board happy

final table

FA Cup Semi Final


Unbeaten Run 

record run in all comps

record goals forest

Championship Player Stats

lge player stats

Championship Team Stats

team stats

Nottingham Forest Squad Statistics 15/16

squad stats

Awards Night

award night

player of the year

Season Review



Nottingham Forest Club News

With the transfer embargo lifted in January the board made £11m available so I made 3 of our loan signings permanent Nelson Oliveira signed for £5m from Benfica, Ryan Mendes signed for £3.1m from Lille and Kyle Ebicillo signed for £2.5m rising to £4m with add ons from FC Twente.



Players departing the club are Chris Cohen who asked to be released along with Matty Fryatt, Andy Reid and Dexter Blackstock who are all surplus to requirement at the City Ground. 

The squad are now enjoying the end of season break before we travel to Holland for our pre season training camp were I hope to have made additions to our squad. I am looking at a few key positions to strengthen the squad as I await the boards expectations and the budgets for the coming season.

I am also on the lookout for a new assistant manager after Lennie Lawrence announced his retirement from the game.

A special mention to Britt Assombalonga who after a long spell out injured returned and made 6 substitute appearances before picking up an injury that will keep him side lined for a further 5 months.

forest man

Coming Next 2016-2017  Season Preview 





A Mist Rolling In From The Trent #FM16


A quick update on our season so far:

I am loving this save like no other….the football we are playing is a joy to watch. Its January 2016 and we sit on top of The Championship and looking good for automatic promotion. We have kept 17 clean sheets in our first 24 League games, turning the City Ground in to a fortress with only Leeds Utd scoring against us on December 26th when they defeated us 2-1.

Has planned I have only used 20 players in our first team squad. The players have all contributed from the off and morale as remained pretty good throughout the first half of the season.  Nelson Oliveira has scored 23 goals in 28 appearances leading the line in our 4-2-3-1 formation. 

August 2015 Results

Highlight of the month a 3-0 home win against Cardiff City to round the month off. We did lose our opening game 1-4 at Brighton and Hove Albion and also crashed out of the Capital One Cup going down 0-2 at Rotherham Utd. 

Aug 15 res

September 2015 Results

Highlight of the month a 5-0 thrashing of Middlesbrough and a Nelson Oliveira hat-trick. Low point the opening fixture of the month at Loftus Road a 1-2 defeat to QPR.

Sept 15 res

October 2015 Results

Highlight of the month 4 clean sheets before a 0-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

Oct 15 res

November 2015 Results

The highlight a 5-0 win against our East Midlands rivals Derby County who sacked manager Paul Clement shortly after. Our low point was a 1-3 thrashing at the hands of Brentford.

nov 15 res

December 2015 Results

A solid 2-0 win at then 3rd place Wolverhampton Wanderers gave us momentum to kick on before a Boxing day defeat at the City Ground to a robust Leeds Utd side who scored the only goals against us in Nottingham so far this season.

dec 15 res

League Table December 2015

table end dec

FA Cup 3rd Round

Tottenham Hotspurs 1-2 Nottingham Forest (Michu 2)

What a performance at White Hart Lane Michu took the plaudits with his brace but we put a shift in and stamped our style on the game.


Squad Statistics December 2015


Transfer Embargo Lifted

embargo lifted

New Contract Signed

new contract



Nottingham Forest Settling In To A New Era On Trentside #FM16


A new era is underway at the City Ground, 3 months in to my time at the club I am modeling the club on Borussia Dortmund…..I am a big fan of how Dortmund have rebuilt since they fell in to financial difficulties a few years ago, since then Dortmund have grown and have the highest average attendance in Football around the World, they are 2nd only to The Dallas Cowboys as the highest average attendance in the World in any team sport. I will be managing our finances closely as I look to put the club back on the map in Europe.
I have streamlined our first team squad down to 20 players has planned. I have been able to use the money created by the sale of Kelvin Wilson to Norwich to bring in some fresh faces  on short term free deals plus it’s allowed me to release Danny Fox and the loan termination of Chris O’Grady. I have got the side playing to the Forest Way Philosophy sooner than I expected. I have also short listed a number of transfer targets and sent the scouts out to do the ground work in preperation so we are ready to make our move once the embargo is lifted. Funnily enough I am actually enjoying working   under the embargo it has made me revaluate the squad and change the way I manage the club. I have looked to set our playing style based on Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund, which the players have adapted to well.


Below I have listed our 1st team squad for this season


Dorus de Vries – At the age of 34 Dorus is coming towards the end of his career. but he is my number one this season and as started the season well. 6 clean sheets on the bounce and some key saves.

Dimitar Evtimov – Dimi provides back up between the sticks for me and as the ability to step up in the future. He is yet to play a game for me but no doubt he will get his chance in the future.

Review: I will be looking to bring a new keeper in at the end of the season. The new keeper may come in to the club as the new number 1 depending on Evtimov ‘s progress this season.

Right Backs

Eric Lichaj – The best right back at the club by far and in the last year of his contract. On current form I will be looking to extend his stay at the club. Playing well in all our games so far and might well get that  extension on his contract.

Review: Lichaj is the only reasonable right back at the club with centre back Michael Mancienne covering for me this season, so again an area of the team I will look to strengthen in the summer.

Left Backs

Dani Pinillos – First choice left back established himself well from the off this season and looked solid in our back 4 in the first 2 months of the season. The Spanish left back looks a quality signing.

Bojan Jokic – Very strong left back and good rotation option with Pinillos, looks to overlap in our system at every opportunity

Review: Very pleased with this area of the squad and hope to keep both Pinillos and Jokic at the club, with long term injury to club captain Chris Cohen both have a done an excellent job in our system this season.

Centre Backs

Jack Hobbs – A rock at the heart of our defence this season playing in 15 of our 16 games this season, A solid performer.

Michael Mancienne – Adds a touch of quality to our back 4 and covers the right back position for me in the absence of Lichaj. Played in rotation with Matt Mills but started all our games in the last month. Can also step in to the midfield if required

Matt Mills – Rotation option covering Hobbs and Mancienne after the sale of Kelvin & former Bolton skipper has provided good cover so far this season but needs to step up if he wants to start games.

Alex Lacovitti – Playing in our U21 squad he has got the attributes to develop in to a good centre back in the future, Lacovitti will provide cover this season and then hopefully kick on in his development.

Review: The central defence at the club has been superb this season building a fortress at the City Ground back up is provided by Roger Riera and Alex Lacovitti. May need to strengthen if we gain promotion.


Ryan Mendes – Mendes as proven to be a good signing for an embargoed club and his loan deal can be made permanent for £3.6m. My first choice in the right sided position chipped in with 2 goals and 4 assists so far this season a key player for us so far.

Jamie Ward – Started the season well on the left wing, I am using him in rotation with Giorgos Samaras, he has netted 6 times already and looks like being a super option out on the left cutting in.

Jermaine Pennant – Brought in on a free transfer on a 10 month contract as cover for Ryan Mendes and the 32 year old as reacted well in his brief time at the club already providing a goal and assist.

Giorgos Samaras – Another free transfer on a contract until the end of the season, Samaras has made an instant impact with 3 goals in 6 starts. Playing in rotation with Jamie Ward we have strong options on both wings.

Review: I am more than happy with our options on both wings, however with 3 contracts expiring it’s an area I have to evaluate has the season goes on.

Central Midfielders

Henri Lansbury – Lansbury has been playing in a Trequartista role for us and has been exceptional and one of our top performers in the opening months of the season. Lansbury can drop back and play in our centre if required.

Gary Gardner – Solid midfielder on loan from Aston Villa. Gardner has been a consistent performer in our midfield with 13 starts under his belt.

Ben Osborn – Limited starts so far but looks to have a future with us, can play in a couple of position ‘s in midfield and could well become useful as the season

David Vaughan – Quality player  keeps the ball moving in our system, the Welshman has put in some quality performance ‘s so far. At 32 he is at the wrong end of his career but still a class act at this level.

Kyle Ebecillo – The FC Twente man is on loan with us until the end of the season, he won young player of the month award in August and has become one of my favourite players in the squad. I may look to make him a permanent member of our squad.

Michu – Spanish attacking midfielder signed on a free after the termination of Chris O’Grady ‘s loan. I will use him in rotation with Lansbury in the Trequartista role. Looks to be a good capture for free after 3 quality starts returning an assist and goal.

Review: The central midfield is well covered and should get us in to the top 6 at least. We also have Andy Reid, Robert Tesche and Chris Cohen out injured long term. We may well be looking to release a few at the end of the season.


Nélson Oliveira – Has excelled in our system so far with 13 goals in 16 appearances and proving a real coup for a club under the transfer embargo. We have got him on loan until the end of the season. On this form I would very much like to sign him on a permanent deal. I feel if he stays injury free he will get the goals to take us to the next level.

Tyler Walker – The son of club legend Des Walker, and has the talent to be nurtured in to a prolific goal scorer in the future.

Review: I have decided to stick with just the 2 strikers in my first team squad with the option of Jamie Ward, Giorgos Samaras and Michu providing the cover up front. I have decided Dexter Blackstock is not good enough in my opinion so he is listed and could leave on a free in the near future. We also have both Britt Assombalonga and Matty Fryatt with long term injuries.

I think the transfer embargo has definitely made me think more about how we will progress in the future, we do have a chairman who will put the money in but my approach to recruiting and development of players as changed for the better.

Looking at our recent match Away match at Huddersfield which we Won 3-0
I have watched a big chunk of this game to see how our 4-2-3-1 is developing. I will start by looking at our defensive unit, we set up with 2 Ball playing Centre Back’s and 2 Attacking Wing Backs we play an high line to enable us to press the play and reduce the gap between our Midfield 2. Our 4-2-3-1 becomes a 4-1-4-1 in the defensive phase of play with our Deep Lying Playmaker sitting deeper than our Roaming Playmaker out of our midfield pairing. Our 2 wingers drop in and sit with our Trequartista which seems to give us a diamond instead of a flat 4 in front of our Deep Lying Playmaker  leaving our front man to occupy the oppositions half.
Our defence looked really solid against Huddersfield with the press doing its job making Huddersfield play long and hurried passes which we delt  with easily (this as become a theme of our play during the last month) what I did notice is the opposition are hitting long diagnal balls to our right back area which gives us a 2v1 situation in our favour with our right sided centre back and our wing back dealing with this phase easily. Michael Mancienne is stepping in to our midfield area with the ball on occasions breaking the line.
Hopefully we can continue to defend well in the coming months with my back 5 preference being….
(GKP) De Vries
(WBR)Lichaj (BPD) Mancienne  (BPD) Hobbs (WBL) Pinillos
We went on a 6 game run without shipping a goal in the League which is very pleasing to see so early on in the season.
The midfield performance against Huddersfield was a joy to watch with David Vaughan and Gary Gardner both given Playmaker roles they really kept the ball moving particularly in the 2nd half feeding our wingers Mendes and Samaras and Trequartista on the day Henri Lansbury who got one of our goals after we overloaded the left side before switching to the right for the overlapping Lichaj to pull one back for Lansbury to net. Our wide men were busy with Samaras and Mendes teasing the Huddersfield back line relentlessly both creating opportunities for our front man Nélson Oliveira who capped a wonderful display with 2 more goals. Oliveira has most definitely filled the void left by the long term injury to Britt Assombalonga, the Portuguese front man is not only scoring the goals but his overall game play as made him a perfect fit for our system with his tireless closing down and quality off the ball play.

The Forest Way September 2015 Review #FM16


September 2015 Results

Championship 15-16

QPR Away Lost 1-2  A single Ryan Mendes goal was the only highlight of our visit to London. I played a 4-1-2-1-2 formation and tried to press QPR from the start but we looked out of sorts and never looked like getting anything out of the game.

Birmingham City Away Won 3-1  A change in formation produced a solid away performance and the first signs of our philosophy working, I played a 4-2-3-1 shape and straight away we dominated the ball with 62% possession however we went 1-0 down before Dutch midfielder Kyle Ebecilio put us level at the break. The 2nd half was one way traffic and after good work by Jamie Ward down the left side Birmingham scored an own goal before Georgios Samaras gave us the 3-1 win.


Middlesbrough Home Won 5-0 A Nelson Oliveira hat-trick capped a fantastic performance at the City Ground with both Jamie Ward and Georgios Samaras also netting for us. Another solid performance against one of our promotion rivals as got the squad morale up. I know its early days but I believe we are a serious contender for promotion.


Huddersfield Town Away Won 3-0 We rounded the month off with a comprehensive 3-0 win at struggling Huddersfield with in form Nelson Oliveira grabbing a brace and Henri Lansbury getting on the score sheet. The 4-2-3-1 is bearing fruit for us has we are playing the way I outlined in my previous blog which is pleasing to see early on.



League Table


Club News 

I decided to terminate Chris O’Grady’s loan deal as I do not see him getting any game time and as a result managed to bring Michu in on a free transfer, he is a player who I think can give us a option playing just behind Nelson Oliveira.


forest man