By Aramide Oladipo
Nottingham Forest legend Garry Birtles is convinced that his former side can compete for a place in the play-offs next season if the planned takeover deal goes ahead.
Businessman Evangelos Marinakis is planning to buy the Championship club from current owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi but the deal has yet to be confirmed.
Al-Hasawi has not been a hit with the Forest fans since taking over the club in the summer of 2012, after failing to sustain a promotion bid and sacking eight managers in just five years.
Speaking with the Nottingham Post, Birtles believes that the takeover can only help Forest’s chances of finishing in the top six and fighting for a place in the Premier League next season.
“Nottingham Forest should be aiming as high as possible next season. With the squad they’ve got, and if they can add to it, they should be in and around the play-offs,” he said.
“They need to forget about this season and how they struggled at the bottom, and just look forward.
“If the new owner does come in, if Evangelos Marinakis’ takeover goes through, and he gives Mark Warburton the right resources, hopefully they can make progress.”
Nottingham Forest endured a painful 2016/17 Championship campaign as they finished the season in 21st place, avoiding relegation on the final day of the season with a 3-0 victory over Ipswich Town at the City Ground.
The last time Forest were involved in the Championship play-offs was back in the 2010-11 season under the management of Billy Davies, when they came up short against Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea City side.
In other Nottingham Forest news, Mark Warburton has revealed how the club’s impending takeover will impact his summer transfer dealings.