Exeter City are relegated to League 2

Exeter City have been relegated to League 2 but as their manager Paul Tisdale has said it is time to look towards the future and forget about this season.

They were beaten 4-1 by Carlisle United in their previous game and the manager knows it will be tough to return straight to League 1 next season but in Tisdale they have a very good manager who has done remarkably well for the club as they have a really small budget and have competed as well as they could for a number of years now. He has won 120 of his 312 games in charge and has led the club to one of their highest positions ever when they finished the 2010-11 season in 8th place just missing out on the playoffs. But this season is not done yet for them and they have a big say in who gets promoted automatically with them playing Sheffield United at home on the last day of the season so they will want to cause a bit of an upset and let the fans go home happy.

If they keep together the squad they have now they have a good chance of getting promoted next season and in goalkeeper Artur Krysiak they have someone with a lot of potential and at the age of 22 he has played over 100 games which is a good achievement for a goalkeeper. He has produced some good performances this season and could be in contention for goalkeeper of the year next season if he produces the form fans know he is capable of. In defence they have a young defender in Scott Bennett who has also impressed when given the chance this season and can also be an attacking threat with him scoring two goals in limited appearances so far. The fans will be happy to know that he has signed a new contract and will hopefully continue to develop at the club.

Liam Sercombe is a midfielder that has a lot of talent and has played a lot of games for the club already and is he is given the confidence to just go out and play he can be very effective and it could be quite difficult to keep hold of him in the summer as he has scored seven goals in 32 league appearances this year which isn’t bad for a midfielder especially in a struggling side. Also in the midfield they have David Noble who came through the Arsenal youth team so must have had some ability but now at the age of 30 he hasn’t quite lived up to these expectations but could be vital for Exeter next season if he stays.

In attack is where they have struggled this season as their top scorer only has 11 goals and they have come from Daniel Nardiello who like Noble, was a promising player as a youngster but hasn’t been able to do it in the football league consistently enough. He has shown glimpses of talent with some very good movement and some good goals but he has also been booked nine times and sent off once which shows another side to his game. In fairness to him though his strike partners haven’t really been up to it and he will be hoping for more success next season. Richard Logan only has five goals in 28 games but in his defence he has only started 11 of those games and Guillem Bauza only has two goals in 26 games so that just shows how difficult it has been for the club this season.

But looking on the bright side, they have a lot of talented youngsters and if they keep hold of them they should have enough quality to challenge for the playoffs at least next season. The only thing is that Exeter aren’t the richest club and if they get a decent offer for one of their players they will have to accept but it would be good to see them progress and play first team football and help Exeter City get back to League 1.

Nottingham Forest fans get the lift they need against Leeds United

When Leeds took the lead against Nottingham Forest the fans must have thought they were about to see Neil Warnock’s first home win as manager but the Forest team proved they are not just going to lie down and will be up for the relegation battle they are involved in.

Garath McCleary scored four goals on a fantastic night for the player personally and for the club as they had to show all of their grit and determination which manager Steve Cotterill will be very proud of. Now, Cotterill wants to give a new contract to McCleary and believes it is a top priority if the club want to progress in the future. The 24 year old has already played over 100 games for the club but this season he has finally stepped up and is now performing to the best of his abilities with nine goals in his 17 league appearances and is currently the clubs top scorer.

Garath McCleary scoring one of his four goals against Leeds United

With the club currently in 20th place and six points out of relegation they really needed a lift and may have been in more trouble had Portsmouth not been handed a points deduction. Added to the fact that a lot of the fans haven’t exactly taken to their manager Cotterill, there could have been more problems in the very near future. Especially when they just lost 1-0 in the biggest game of the season against Derby County they really needed a lift and this is exactly the way to do it.

They didn’t only humiliate Leeds, they also put a smile on every single one of their players and fans faces which could just make everyone at the club relax and play their normal game rather than feel the tension of a relegation battle. Nottingham Forest have had a horrendous season and anyone that had slated Billy Davies in the past must now be wishing he had never left and just stayed with the club. Steve McClaren only lasted 13 games and won just three of these while losing seven of them. This put the club in a terrible position and must have made the supporters angry at the board as they were a team that were pushing for the playoffs year after year and now seem to have taken steps backwards instead of forward.

Cotterill, in my opinion has done a decent job and is doing exactly what was expected of him which was to keep the team in the league. I am unsure whether he will be able to take the team to the next level but at least it looks more likely that they will be playing in the second tier of English football next season.

Nottingham Forest are too big of a club to be playing in a lower division and with their support they should be in the Premier League. They have some talented players like McCleary and Dexter Blackstock who may not be having the best of seasons but proved against Leeds that he can he find the back of the net when given the opportunities. I also really like Marcus Tudgay who always puts in a shift whenever he plays and is always good for a goal. I really hope Forest stay up and push on next season as the fans deserve some joy as they have suffered quite a lot in recent years.