After pondering which club to join for all of 10 minutes a decision was
decided to relieve David Platt of his duties and take over the reigns at
Forest. With a decent squad there already and money in the bank the
future looked promising. My aim was to achieve promotion within 3
I began by allowing a few squad players to leave and pursue their future
someplace else. This brought in more transfer funds which was now close
to 12 million. With my influential striker Stern John injured for 3
months i brought in Paul Warne from Rotherham for 750k. I also brought
in a few bargain buys such as Jeff Kenna(1m), Carlo Nash (90k) and Kevin
Muscat (2.5m) + 2 youngsters.
I got off to a good start and by the time Christmas came I was in the
playoff places and had Stern John back from long term injury. All was
going well when after C'mas i went on a run which consisted of me winning
7 of my last eight games and unbeaten in 12!
Meanwhile we were flying in the FA cup with wins over Luton town and
Arsenal. We drew 2-2 with the Gunners, with Henry scoring in the final
minute to bring the game to a replay, but we ended up with a 4-2 victory
in Highbury with 2 goals from Paul Warne and 2from the on loan Danny
With the season coming to a close I was voted manager of the month and
we were on top of the 1st Division!!! With Grimsby and Blackburn biting
at our heels we knew it would be tough holding this position but when we
beat Southampton in the q-final and Sunderland in the semis we had an
F.A. Cup final and automatic promotion ahead of us. Already I had done
enough to secure my future at the City Ground for at least another 3
We improved the squad with a record transfer fee of 3.3m for Noel Whelan
who was finding it hard to settle down. Come the end of the season
Grimsby beat us to the championship but with 2nd place we were more than
delighted with Stern John and Paul Warne proving to be unstoppable with
54 goals between them. An FA cup final was then played but proved too
much for us coming up against The Boro (3rd in the Premiership) who
beat us in extra time with a Hamilton Ricard goal in the 118 minute
after Danny Murphy had put us ahead. We enjoyed the day though and we
proved that we could mix with the big boys next season.
A hard preseason then began with the board delighted with my
achievements so far and telling me to fight bravely against relegation
from the Premiership I won the Umbro Cup with cictories over Napoli and
Blackburn. Because there was money to be spent I took a few gambles
bringing in two Italians. Mauro Milanese(4m) and Bordichini (3M)
bolstered the squad making the squad look great on paper. Ronnie
Wallwork(1m) and Chris Kirkland(2.75m) then joined which was what looked
a very capable squad.
5 games gone, 4 points taken was dissapointing as
we had lost narrowly in our games. This proved to be our season all
over. Crashing out of the FA Cup in the 4th round was also hard to take
as our season went into freefall. It wasnt all doom and gloom though
with Stern John still producing the goods but with a minimum release
clause of 4 million a big worry! Noel Whelan was placed on the
transfer list with a long run of poor form. 10 games to go we were
placed 2 places from the bottom and trailing Derby who were 4th from
bottom by 5 points, the job wasnt beyond me.
Ontill Everton FC sacked
their Scottish manager Walter Smith and I applied for the Job. 2 weeks
later Everton offered me the position of manager and with Liverpool and
Juventus rejecting my offer to take control of their clubs I decided to
jump a sinking ship and take over the reigns of the Toffees.
Forest got relegated and I saved Everton from dropping the division with
17 points from a possible 24!