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Forest’s Freedman form makes them lively play-off chances

| 26.02.2015

Dougie Freedman became Nottingham Forest’s seventh manager since 2011 when he took over from club icon Stuart Pearce in the City Ground dugout at the start of February.

Working for employers that are notoriously trigger happy, the former Bolton boss would have been acutely aware that a fast start was needed to keep the owner’s feet from itching. So far he has delivered emphatically.

The 2-1 victory over promotion-chasing Bournemouth on Tuesday night was the Reds’ fourth win in five games under the one-time striker. They drew the other outing.

Although there is still a sizeable gap to bridge before they can mix it up with the Championship’s top six, the undeniable shot in the arm Freedman’s arrival has given Forest cannot be ignored from a betting perspective.

Ladbrokes rate the Midlands club’s chances of sealing a play-off spot at 16/1 which, when considering the 12 points that stands between them and Watford in sixth, seems fair.

However, only two teams in the division have claimed more points in the last six games than Freedman’s mob and a continuation of that form will see that price shrink quite quickly.

A small investment in the Crystal Palace favourite inspiring a dramatic late surge into the play-offs is certainly wise, especially as Forest’s fixtures give them a serious chance of making ground on the sides above them.

Bar local rivals Derby County and the recently bested Cherries, the two-time European Cup winners must play all of the other six teams ahead of them in the league.

Of course, with such a deficit in front of them Forest will need those sides setting the play-off pace to slip up, but in a league as closely-fought as the Championship, that is entirely conceivable.

Freedman has already helped his new club climb three places in the table, should he manage to haul them up three more by the end of the season they will have no need to look for an eighth manager since 2011.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.