You're listening to Garry Boulding Red, a Nottingham Forest podcast brought to you by Nottingham Shire Live. Rough few games for up until the Bournemouth game, and then I think I'll just pick up as the players jail and finish quite comfortably 15th personally. I think it feels like there's a clutch of teams that Forest are competing with to me and can beat. So I don't think it's going to be plain sailing because it's generally never is for the promoted teams. But I think there's a size in a much worse state than Forest with real negative momentum. So it gives me real confidence they'll stay up.
I do feel we'll be all right. I don't feel that we're going to go into the last 10 games in the bottom three. As long as Cooper is backed and as long as the players perform to the potential, I think we'll be.
Greg, my round. If that happens, buddy, if that comes true, I'm taking you out.
Ninth or above.
And I think what we saw yesterday is almost that welcome to the Premier League moment. Let's all just calm down a little bit. There's a long way to go. Players will come in. Lessons needed to be learned. The team needs to gel. We're off and running.
Yeah, I know. I saw your tweet saying you were foolish to predict ninth and obviously you're booking your hotels for Croatia somewhere in August for your European League or higher. So that's good.
I thought we looked confident. The atmosphere was incredible. I mean, all the plaudits from Sky and the BBC and all them saying how great it was. And it's just a good day little, isn't it? Proud day to be a Red again.
22 players in a window is completely unprecedented. The Forest have always been active in the window. And since Marenakis ownership has begun, we've had multiple players in and out at every possible opportunity. And if this had gone on for another week, I'm sure we'd be making more signings. There's no surprise there in the sense that there's always been resource for the man in the chair at the time and the football department at the time to bring in the players that they wanted to bring in.
Most Forest fans I spoke to, in fact, every Forest fan I spoke to before the season, I asked them all the same question, if it doesn't go the way you hope, will you be able to just enjoy it for what it is and have a season in the top flight? And everybody said to me, yes, absolutely. If people are turning at this stage of the season, then I can't comprehend that.
Well, it was horrific, wasn't it? The first half was just utterly dire. Overall, it was just horrible.
T he test of any strategy is if you stick with it during the tricky periods and this is it. This is the one. For me, I would absolutely stick by Cooper, given the tools to do the job in terms of plays. He's got that, but just given the support.
The performance of the Forest supporters on Monday night was astonishing. I don't get the chance to travel away from home very often due to work commitments. The atmosphere was unbelievable. When they burst into song in the second half at 3 0 down and sang constantly for what felt like an hour to try and get behind the team was unbelievable. Anybody who watches football and knows the landscape of the Premier League in particular, anytime you lose five games in a row, you're under pressure. Normally it's four, isn't it? Any manager that loses four games in a row, you're under pressure. So Steve's lost five.
Just didn't see it coming, did we? It was one more game. We'd read the offer was off the table, the original one, and he hadn't signed for so many weeks. And you could just feel like we were getting in this horrible rut. And then fans started to bicker at each other and to wake up to this news to feel this elated and this happy.
What this means is he's got certainty in his own position. He's got the immediate confidence of the board, but it's results business and he hasn't got job security. He still hasn't got immunity if we find ourselves in a similar position in 10, 15 games time. And it's a long way to go in the 24, 25 season that this contract runs to. But I believe in Steve Cooper and I take that to the point where I'd be happy for him to take us down and bring us back up and we'd be all the stronger for it if that was how it was to play out. But this 30 game game left for us to stay in the Premier League and I think him at the helm is our best means of doing that.
Wasn't the best.
As a whole but at certain times, it was a big point. It was a big performance.
In terms of isolation, in.
Terms of the period.
That the team find themselves in. It was memories of last season, wasn't it? It all came flooding back.
Just spectacular. Thoroughly deserved. And I just thought it took everybody back a little bit because I was just so impressed. And the atmosphere, one of the best I've ever encountered down there.
They've started to click, they've started to gel. We saw the battle at Brighton and then showing what we can do at home against Liverpool. Now, teams I think are going to take notice a little bit more of how we can play and we're full of confidence.
You play a striker, he gives you a chance. You don't stay up in a league if you haven't got somebody who is going to be a nuisance or score your goals or create things for other people. That's how important an out and out striker is. He gives you a chance.
Yeah. I mean, they need to find a way of playing away from home, don't they? There's ways and means of going about those performances that we said before and to see players running parallel with men and not trying to tackle them and dangling legs and not getting out quickly to party. I thought they hung Henderson out to dry yesterday, I thought.
And when you look at his first choice back five, and I include the goalkeeper in that Henderson, Orie, Loddie, Warril, Bolly, the last four matches that they've played together, they've conceded one goal. That was against Chelsea and that had an element of fluke about it. The way it came back off the bar. Clean sheet against Tottenham, clean sheet against Crystal Palace. Clean sheet last night. And they've gone from a team that conceded did 20 goals in an eight game period when they lost 6 and drew 2. So now they've gone into a nine game period where they've only conceded 12 goals, eight of those against Arsenal and Man United away. And I think now you started to see a team built on pretty solid foundations, good on the counter attack. And I think if you're looking for a team that's improved in the bottom eight, they've improved more than anybody else.
I think the whole of the squad have adapted unbelievably well. I think they've learned the lessons really quickly. And if you don't learn lessons, you're going to be down at the bottom.
Since Christmas, we're top of the form league. You've got Liverpool bottom of the form league. I know we spoke about six points off relegation, but we're five points off Liverpool at the minute. And if it keeps going, we could overtake a team like that. That'd be massive for us in the first season.
I saw it on Twitter as a Premier League record to lose two players in the first seven minutes. And the way Forest did it, two injuries, two hamstring injuries in the same move to both centre halves. Do you think it's not your day for us when that happens straight away?
Since the start of the Premier League, there's been 39 managerial changes since March, so the March of each year, and only seven of them have led to a higher finishing position than when they made the change.
As an owner, he's been bright enough to give Steven opportunity to be successful. When Forest were in the Maya earlier in the season, and conventional wisdom for a lot of owners would have been, I need to make a managerial change. He didn't. Forest went on the best run of the season. Whatever decision he makes from this point, let's look at it through clear eyes. Let's not dive back in the vacuum and say, Here we go, Sack him, blah, blah, blah, because he's not.
Done that. Does Cooper bear some responsibility for not doing something different last night? It was so predictable the way we play away from home. It's so easy to play against.
Game management has been an issue all year. You can go back early in the season to Bournemouth and to Fulham and to Wolves at the weekend. Games where they've had the lead.
They've ended up not winning the match. And in some cases they lose games. And over the course of the season, that's extremely costly for anybody.
Do you feel like it's looking pretty grim? I know you've been a big picture man all the way through and you probably still have more faith than some of us at the moment. Are you feeling pretty wobbly now about the prospects of staying up?
I said right at the start that 17th is enough. Still think that Saturday is a big day for everybody. I genuinely do.
So it looks so much more promising. And yes, it is only one win and there is still a long way to go. But that's exactly what we needed, wasn't it? We needed that one win last night, which we've now got lifted us out of the relegation zone for now, but it's just given us something to build on.
We could picture perhaps going to Crystal Palace with absolutely no other thought than having a lovely day out. That's my picture of success and joining the final day of the season rather than having three heart attacks and biting all my nails off.
The power of what a win can do for a team, a fan base and you as an individual. It's massive. Like driving home, I was loving it, buzzing, couldn't get to sleep till one o'clock in the morning, woke up this morning feeling fresh as.
A Daisy. This is what being a Forest fan is like. It is stressful. Players and managers that we believe in, create an atmosphere in our ground. We feel it.
This is why we're the best club in the world and why we've got the best fans in the world because of what we go through every single week. We never do it easy.
That's about as nervous as I've ever been at the end of the game. It was horrendous, wasn't it? When they get free kicks or corners or anything, you're just so worried about the delivery and obviously the penalty. And you thought, here we go again. Surely not. To the point where when the final whistle went, it wasn't even joy. It was just pure relief and just unbelievable. If that's the game that keeps us up, it's going to be one that's remembered, that's for sure.
Are you convinced now, Gary, that Forest are going to stay up? Or was that a bit jovial, that comment before?
No, I think we'll stay up. I see nothing to fear in Chelsea at the moment. Yes, they won against Bormuth, but Bormuth were safe then.
And you go into Arsenal then thinking just this game and that's it, celebration time. None of us want to go to Paris, needed anything.
The stress is over the checking the fixtures, the permutations, the bookies, the optostats. No more talk about goal difference, VAR size, no more if only games, no more if only tile hadn't got injuries. Worry not, Nottingham Forest are staying in the Premier League.
I always felt that.
We'd do it.
And I always felt it would go late. I thought it'd go to the final game of the season. So the fact it hasn't is wonderful. Our fans are the best I've ever experienced.
I thought they reached new heights on.
The Saturday. I remember it was about 85, 86 minutes and I was just silent.
I was just.
So nervous, rocking backwards and forwards thinking, Oh, my God, this is horrendous. But suddenly the trent end went and the cliff stand went and I thought, What am I doing here? And the whole place just lifted.
Oh, it was amazing. When we knew, when Nauvist went down and I'd got my stopwatch on like I always do. I was like, you've got seven minutes. And I knew that that was it. That was it. And that feeling, oh God, it was the best feeling in.
The world. People who are at Middlesborough or the game against Middlesborough when we were God awful and Chris you and got sacked. To think where we are now, beating Arsenal in the Premier League, to stay in the Premier League with everyone so united. It feels like a special time. So just really enjoying it. Can't wait for Crystal Palace. Wish I was going. Greg's going to just tear up London, no doubt and be at Buckingham Palace, never mind Fistful Palace, dancing on the roof or something, being arrested by security.
Get myself a crown.
From top to bottom, everybody's played their part this year. Football isn't always like this and enjoy it while it's here. We're up, others are down. The natural order has been restored in the East Midlands and it can be us that are cocky and confident at work, rubbing our colleagues, friends, mates, WhatsApp groups, noses in it and enjoying this time as Forest fans.
I said at the start of the season that 17 was enough and 16 is even better. We've done it. We all stuck together. The manager's still with us. The owner's ambitious. The lads have been brilliant. They're only going to get better. I'll say this now, we have no fear next season about being relegated. This is a team that's on the move. A fan base that's the best in the world, not just the best in the country. I travel all over the place and never hit a band like ours. Absolutely fantastic. This club is on the rise. Next season is going to be even better and we're all going to enjoy it again. I just hope the summer flies by, get the fixtures out, know where we're all going to be and we can all enjoy it again. Absolutely fantastic.
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