Dougie Freedman has shook hands with Fawaz Al Hasawi over a new contract at Nottingham Forest, although the paperwork remains unsigned.
The Scot was appointed as the new manager at the City Ground following the club’s decision to sack legend Stuart Pearce in January following a miserable run of just three wins in 23 matches, which contributed to their 12th place standing in the Championship and left them 13 points adrift of their target which was to reach the playoffs and challenge for promotion.
Under Freedman the Reds showed an instant improvement, embarking on a six-match unbeaten run which included five wins. Indeed, since his appointment Forest have lost just three times, although their good form will not result in a top-six place as they are still 13 points off the pace. However, there is little doubt that they are now playing better football and appear on the right track.
Freedman, who made 70 league appearances for the club between 1998 and 2000, was appointed on 1 February although there was confusion over the length of his contract; it was initially stated he had been given 18 months, although this included a review clause in the summer. But he has impressed enough to be on the verge of a long-term deal at the former European champions.
“Nothing has been concluded yet but we have spoken again and we are very close to agreeing the extension,” Freedman told the Nottingham Post. “It is just a case of getting it down in black and white, because there has been a handshake there. Nothing will stop us from moving forward. We will leave it with the lawyers and, by the weekend, hopefully something should be done.”