Nottingham Forest still fired by big money backers

SUMMER SIGNING Forest paid £5.5million for Britt Assombalonga

SUMMER SIGNING Forest paid £5.5million for Britt Assombalonga

First published in Sport

“CASH is king” – a mantra repeated on countless occasions by Dougie Freedman in a frustrating 12 months in the transfer market.

A year ago he prepared his side to face Nottingham Forest, questioning publically how the East Midlanders had been able to invest millions over the summer despite incoming Financial Fair Play regulations.

His comments did not go down well at his former club but their mood was soon to improve as Wanderers were dispatched 3-0 with the minimum of fuss.

Freedman welcomes Forest to the Macron Stadium tomorrow knowing they have ploughed in another £8million-plus in the last few weeks to bring in the likes of Britt Assombalonga, Michail Antonio and Michael Mancienne.

Some of the cash was recouped with the sale of Karl Darlow and Jamal Lascelles to Newcastle United – players who were subsequently loaned back to the City Ground, but Stuart Pearce’s side are most certainly operating on a financial plane the Wanderers boss can only dream of at present.

The impending arrival of non league striker Kaiyne Woolery from Tamworth is the only cash deal for a permanent signing done so far this summer, although Freedman has hinted there is money in the pot if and when the right signing becomes available.

Despite clear financial constrictions, there is pressure on the Whites boss to deliver improvement on the pitch, particularly after the disappointment of the opening weekend at Watford.

Freedman insists his squad are mentally tougher than they were 12 months ago when the defeat at the City Ground interrupted a previously unbeaten start and sent them toppling to their worst opening to a season in more than 100 years.

Forest have started convincingly, albeit against opponents they would expect to beat.

A 2-0 win over a Blackpool team that had barely met each other followed by a tight 1-0 Capital One Cup victory over League Two Tranmere at Prenton Park represents a perfectly satisfactory start for Pearce in his new job.

The Forest boss is under no illusion that Wanderers are a different matter altogether.

“This will be more of a test for us,” he said. “We are not deluding ourselves.

“Blackpool came into the game with a squad that had been patched together. We know it will be a tougher test on Saturday.

“In this league, you never really know entirely what to expect. They (Bolton) do have a good group of players and they will be finding their feet, just as we are.

“We are pleased that we have got the results behind us in the first two games. But past results do not mean anything. We have to go to Bolton with what we hope will be a winning mentality.

“We know we have got hard work to do, but we are going there to win the game. We will go into every game this season looking to win.”

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