Dougie’s deal is all but signed

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Joel Lamy

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.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

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