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December 9, 2015 by notjustpumpkinbread


There was a moment during our win over Fulham that came as a pleasant surprise to this particular fan, but it wasn’t anything to do with what was transpiring on the pitch. In all honestly, I’m not sure when it happened; sometime after the second or third goal I think. But to hear that chant of…

Dougie gave us a wave. Dougie, Dougie give us a wave

…emanating from the direction of A Block seemed to signal something of a sea change in the Forest fans’ attitude towards our manager. That’s not to say we’ve been against him since the beginning of his tenure, far from it. The vocal minority using Social Media as their mouthpiece can sometimes consume a fair amount of oxygen when questioning all things regarding any current Forest manager. And in such a vacuum it’s hard to be heard if you’re of a more positive persuasion.

That being said, there have been times when Mr. Dougie has emerged from the tunnel before a home match and the lack of response from the City Ground faithful has been a signal of the feeling towards him. You could say it’s understandable given the run of results that led to some considering the days leading up to the Derby game as something of a nadir. For all his enthusiasm when conducting pre- and post-match interviews, there have also been occasions when Mr. Dougie’s acknowledgement of the home crowd have themselves felt a little cursory. The relish with which he raises his hands above his head to clap those in attendance seeming somewhat dampened.

The pressure was telling and clearly affecting everyone; whether we care to vocalise it or not. And that makes that moment last Saturday all the more significant, I feel. Our previous incumbent would always receive adulation. He’s a legend of the club as well as a fan and we wanted him to understand that. It’s always been an uphill struggle for Dougie Freedman. He had an average time while playing for us and some may well feel he’s got to prove himself before being accepted. One thing you cannot deny, however, is his unwavering belief in the club and the team he manages. The club have stuck with him and he’s stuck to his task.

There’s still plenty more work to do, but there’s just a chance that that moment on Saturday brought our manager just a little bit closer to the fans. It may well have brought some of the fans that little bit closer to our manager. Acceptance is a hard thing to attain in the world of football, where performances are the currency of adulation and positive results are king. But when those that sing during games turn their attention to the man in the home dugout or on the touch-line, calling for a little recognition while in turn recognising the man and what he’s trying to achieve, it makes those moments all the more worthwhile.

It’s been a bit of a tortuous journey, but there may well (finally) be some light at the end of the tunnel. For all our good play and squandered chances that epitomised our season, those three wins in a row at home could be the signal of an upturn in fortunes. These next two games – both away, both against teams directly above us – will clearly sort the men from the boys. But if we take our current form into them, there’s no reason why that chant couldn’t be heard again, emanating from our always faithful travelling support.




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