Dougie’s deal is all but signed
DOUGIE Freedman has agreed a deal to stay as Nottingham Forest boss, but admitted he had to look at whether his own performance was good enough against Huddersfield.
Sean Scannell latched on to Jacob Butterfield’s pass and lofted the ball into the net for the only goal at the City Ground which left the visitors all but safe.
A fourth match without a win was blamed on fatigue by Freedman who is already mapping out his long-term future at Forest, even though the paperwork on his deal is not still finalised.
“Me and the chairman have shaken hands so as far as I’m concerned it’s signed. Where I’m from in Glasgow it’s a done deal,” he said.
“But I’m paying lawyers £300 an hour which is killing me so I hope they hurry up!
“The contract is for two years but can be extended every summer. This club has not had a strategy going forward and it needs it.”
Speaking about his side’s performance, Freedman, who said he will sign two or three players in the summer, added: “I was disappointed. We were very flat for the first 30 minutes and I can only put it down to the momentous effort of the last couple of months. It’s caught us up and a few players were flat such as Henri Lansbury and Michail Antonio who have been fantastic since I came.
“I’ve also got to look at my own performance and look at my own selections.”
The atmosphere felt like an end of season encounter and the play matched it for most of the first half.
Chris Burke was a constant threat down Forest’s right wing, but it was Huddersfield who looked most likely to score.
Oscar Gobern shot tamely after a pull-back from Nahki Wells, but the winning goal came just before half-time.
Scannell was praised after Huddersfield beat Ipswich last Monday – their first win in eight matches – and he continued that form here.
Butterfield played an excellent through ball which pierced the defence and allowed the rightwinger to loft the ball over goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Scannell’s three previous goals this season had come in wins and he continued that run despite Forest offering more of a threat after the break.
Burke twice shot wide after cutting in from the right and the quiet Antonio then burst down the flank and squared for substitute Ben Osborn, but Alex Smithies blocked his close effort.
For the most part, though, Huddersfield were comfortable and always carried a threat.
Their win enables them to play without pressure for the rest of the season, although Terriers’ boss Chris Powell wants his side to push towards the top half of the Championship.
“I thought we thoroughly deserved the win,” he said.
“We controlled the game at times and gave ourselves a platform to get a result.
“Sean Scannell has been a revelation for me. He’s a danger and a good crosser of the ball. He scores goals like that a lot in training. I’ve also got to single out Tommy Smith who marshalled Antonio really well.
“With this team, even when results have not gone right they have been positive as a group.
“We now have a chance to push on and have some momentum for next year.We can try and go unbeaten until the end of the season. It will be hard but it’s something to aim for.”
KEEPING COOL: Sean Scannell fires Huddersfield Town’s winner
his goal JOY: Scannell celebrates