Date: 18th October 2008 at 10:47am
Written by:

1. Will Iain Dowie be manager at Christmas and how has he done so far?

The tenure of Iain Dowie has been somewhat mixed thus far. I don’t think it’s fair to discuss other managers when he’s still doing a satisfactory job at the club. When you consider our proximity to the play-off and automatic places, we are by no means out of the hunt yet.

In fact I believe that Dowie likes it better that way, so that we’re prowling the periphery waiting for mistakes. There are a few qualms with the manager in that he does seem to have a favoured set of players in a favoured formation – when perhaps a more attacking line-up would suit our style of play.

But there is no real reason to be up in arms about Dowie, by and large it’s a decent start and we’re by no means out of it. If you remember from his Crystal Palace days he is the king of fighting back!

2. You are possibly the wealthiest club in the Championship. Has the backing of Briatore and Ecclestone had any benefits for the club?

The benefits are evident but then again so are the drawbacks. Undoubtedly we play better, more exciting football, with better players in an improved stadium.

The stadium improvement don’t extend beyond the directors box and the expensive seats, but we do get a big screen up above the school end (which you won’t be able to see!) and the sound system has vastly improved.

There are some concerns that fans will be priced out, especially when you consider the precedents the club have taken for a ‘Category A’ game against Derby County. They say it represents value for money for season ticket holders, which in essence is true, but what sort of precedent does it set?

My area has seen a 50% price hike, anything near that sort of rise next year and I won’t be able to afford it – simple as that. By the time they’re finished that will be true of a lot of fans I feel, but the ground will still be full and we won’t be missed.

It’s a party in my house, and I’m not invited..

3. What do you think to the Venables rumours and can he still cut it?

When I hear this rumour I must say I was rather surprised. This is the man who recently turned down one of the biggest challenges in football in Newcastle United, why would he take on another job full of similar pressures – perhaps not from the support but from the board.

First and foremost there isn’t a vacant job which you’d find surprising if you didn’t know. We’ve had Darren Ferguson, Kenny Jackett and now El Tel. While it would be great to see him back in some capacity, Dowie is the boss and unnecessary rumours are distracting.

4. Is this season living up to your expectations and where will you finish?

I said top eight at the start of the season, because I think with the players at our disposal that is the ideal position really. The way we finished last season was positive, but I feel we are lacking in a few areas to really challenge for the play-offs.

We have not replaced Rowan Vine up front while he is still sidelined with a broken leg and Patrick Agyemang is not firing, leaving Dexter Blackstock to roam the front-line alone. A role he seems to prefer and be better at.

On the basis of what I’ve seen I fully expect us t be challenging for the play-offs but at the moment the form is too inconsistent to challenge the top two.

5. Who will win the Championship?

At the beginning of the season I said Birmingham would win the league, and I don’t think I’ll be disappointed on that count. The amount of quality players they have in their side, it reads like a whose who of Championship stars.

They have a better squad this year than they did last year in the Premier League, and the loss of the likes of Olivier Kapo, has been offset by some clever additions in Lee Carsley and the strike force of Kevin Phillips and Marcus Bent.

McLeish is also one of, if not the, best manager in the league – I believe he will take Birmingham up as champions with relative comfort.

6. Forest player you would most like to sign?

I was adamant that in the summer we should have gone for Robert Earnshaw. There were rumours we were interested in the forward and we showed a total lack of ambition in not going all out to get quality like Earnie and Kevin Phillips.

Mind you the talent you have in Lewis McGugan certainly does send the green-eyed monster into overtime. Lewis proved himself in the league below as a quality young midfielder, but injury has scuppered his progress this year somewhat.

These two players are potential match winners in my opinion but there are several in your side that we should be wary of.

7. Who is your most sought after player?

In general, a striker without a shadow of a doubt. Forwards such as Ched Evans, David Nugent and Michael Chopra have been mooted recently, with Caleb Folan being the latest stern link.

The fact of the matter is we’re not signing any of these people and it’s slightly disconserting. We need some fire power if we are to climb the league, and it seems to be sooner rather than later.

Agyemang and Blackstock are tried, tested and failed to be blunt, the likes of Angelo Balanta and Samuel Di Carmine in the reserves aren’t being given the chance they deserve. But ideally I would like to see two or three fresh faces up front.

8. Will this new found wealth mean moving to a new stadium and how would you feel about leaving Loftus Road if it were to happen?

I think they’ve nailed their colours to the mast in terms of the stadium. Short term they are trying desperately to give Loftus Road this tag as a ‘Boutique Stadium’. The idea frightens me a little because they’re looking, in my opinion to take on the ‘Monaco model’ whereby the ground is full of very wealthy people.

This is why for the families and the generational supporters I would advocate a move away from W12 simply because then more people would have a chance of staying in contact with the club they love, hopefully not at a premium price – but I don’t hold out much hope.

9. Many people thought you were a shoe in for promotion last year. How did it pan out as far as you were concerned?

Last season? We were nailed on for a relegation battle under John Gregory, with a depleted squad that had no cash whatsoever – times they are a changin’!

We had a whirlwind few months what with Ray Jones’ untimely passing and the new board coming in with new ideas, we got absolutely spanked by West Bromwich Albion on TV and that was the end of John Gregory.

But never at any point were we considered as promotion fodder, there was always an impression that last season held much promise, but the next two seasons would be the moment of truth for nouveau riche Rangers.

10. Score prediction for the game.

I have openly stated in the match preview that it will be a tight one with both teams coming back refreshed from the break and ready to dispel poor recent form.

A 1-0 home win would be the result I’d go for on the basis of your defence and our strike force both not being at its greatest, but we should have enough to come out on top.

And Finally…

Best of luck beyond Saturday and the return fixture at the City Ground. Forest is a club I greatly admire and should up with us in the higher echelons.

Hopefully it’s only a matter of time for both of us. lets make some real noise in W12 today!

Thanks to Adam for taking the time out to answer the questions. You can check out what’s going on at QPR and about today’s game at Vital QPR. You can also see the questions Vital Forest answered HERE.