sport

Al-Hasawi hoping for top two

Nottingham Forest chairman Fawaz Al-Hasawi hopes his side can secure automatic promotion to the Premier League this season.

Al-Hasawi has been in charge at the City Ground for 19 months and helped to stabilise things on and off the pitch.

Forest have been in superb form in the Sky Bet Championship over the last couple of months, with a run of 13 games unbeaten lifting them into fifth place, six points off Burnley, who sit second but have played one more game.

Their next test is one of the biggest of the season as they welcome local rivals Leicester City to the City Ground on Wednesday night - the Foxes top the table some 13 points ahead of Forest and look to be on their way to one of the two promotion spots.

But that gap is not putting Al-Hasawi off, as he told Sky Sports News:

"I would like to go up automatically. I don't want the pressure with the play-offs to be honest.

"There is still a big, big chance for us to be promoted directly. We have 16 games and I think if we won 10 or 11 we will go up. Everybody can beat everybody. Whoever reaches 82 or 83 points, they will get direct promotion."

Al-Hasawi admitted on-field improvements come first at the moment, but he is planning to upgrade the City Ground rather than try and build a new stadium away from the club's historic home.

"This is our plan, from the beginning. If we go to the Premier League things will be changed," he added.

"This season we have changed all the boxes but we are trying to move slowly. First of all my aim is to get promotion. Then we will fix the stadium, bring some extra players because the Premier League is a different level.

"That's why I don't want to talk about it now, or be rushed. Maybe I will leave this for the manager next season to decide."

Al-Hasawi also believes he has come a long way since taking over from cousin Omar as chairman in December 2012 - within three months he had sacked Sean O'Driscoll and Alex McLeish and brought in Billy Davies as manager.

"Everything when you start is difficult. Nothing is easy. You start learning and are still learning. I feel now things are stable," he said.

"When I came to the club people think I am a dictator, sacking everybody around. But this is not right. I just want the best for my club. When I saw Billy (Davies), when I saw the right staff happy here I know I want to stick on with my people here."