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Horncastle: Totti thriving at 40

Italian Serie A

Davies targeting play-offs with Forest

Billy Davies believes he can transform Nottingham Forest's underachievers and still win a play-off place this season after officially being unveiled as the two-time European champions' new manager on Monday.

Davies agreed to return to the Championship club last week for a second spell as manager and he becomes the fourth boss appointed by the club's Kuwaiti owners in a troubled season.

The Scot is fully aware of the turbulence the club he left in 2011 has been suffering since the Al-Hasawi family took charge last summer, but is confident he is the man to bring the "golden prize" of Premier League football back to the City Ground.

And he insists he will be able to do so without any interference chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi - despite claims that predecessors Alex McLeish and Sean O'Driscoll had problems with the owners regarding team affairs and player recruitment.

"Do you think I would be here?" was Davies' reply when asked if he was concerned about whether he would be given full control on signing players and team selection for the 15 games remaining this season.

"And I would not be here if I did not think we could make the play-offs this season. Anything is possible in the Championship. We have a very talented group of players, but they have underachieved this season.

"They have given 80 to 85% and I have to get the rest out of them in the games we have left this season. I have to give them their confidence back. We know we have got work to do.

"There is a lot of quality in the squad. They players are very well paid and very well looked after by the football club and they have to realise they have to be accountable and take their responsibilities."

Davies claims it was a "no-brainer" to return to Forest after spending the last 20 months out of work, despite fielding several offers from other Championship clubs during that period.

He has signed a three-and-a-half year contract and claimed there has been no pressure placed on him in terms of making the play-offs this season, but with Forest just six points adrift he will be able to utilise the emergency loan market.

"That is a possiblility. We have won three games in the last 14, so that tells you there is work to do," Davies added. "Fawaz says the option of the loan market is there, but if the players we have can win matches, we might not have to go that route."

Davies will take charge of his first game against Bolton Wanderers at the City Ground on Saturday and the club are close to announcing a sell-out for the return of the man supporters hail as "King Billy".


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