Dan Harding: Nottingham Forest owe it to Alex McLeish to up their performance levels
NOTTINGHAM Forest owe it to Alex McLeish to up their performance levels – and have so far let the new manager down, says Dan Harding.
The straight-talking Reds defender says the team must immediately bounce back from their 'unacceptable' defeat at the hands of League One Oldham in the FA Cup.
"We have got the quality here to be doing better than we are," said Harding. "The gaffer said it as soon as he walked through the door – he feels the quality here is better than other clubs he has been at.
"He has been at some successful clubs in the past, so I am pretty certain we have the quality. It is just about finding the right balance.
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"We need to learn from these mistakes, we need to bounce back from this.
"Since the gaffer has been here, he has been first class with all of us and we feel we have let him down.
"He has new ideas, it is a new regime and we are getting used to that. There is an opportunity for the lads to show him what we can do, in training and in games. We need to do that."
Harding admits the players were surprised by the decision to sack Sean O'Driscoll.
But he believes the appointment of McLeish is a positive sign of the owners' ambitions.
"We did not see the change coming, but that is what the owners have decided to do and it is our job as players just to get on with things. It is also our job to show the new boss what we can do as a team," he said.
"It is a sign of their ambition that they made a change. They obviously have a vision for the club and they want to achieve things. As players we want to achieve things as well."
Harding says Forest must now toughen up at home.
"If we are going to achieve anything this year, we need to be winning matches at home and picking up points away from home as well," he said.