Forest Boss Speaks On Whittingham Failure
Cardiff City`s new look board have stayed strong and stuck fastly to the promise of keeping hold of our best players, bringing in new faces and building a squad with realistic ambitions for promotion. The ambition showed in bringing the likes of Keogh, Bellamy and Olofinjana, albeit on loan, is evident but equally satisfying is that we have rejected strong interest in some of our contracted players. All too often in the past we have been forced to sell in order to stay afloat, and have therefore been bullied into letting certain players go on the cheap, and then re-building.
We beat off strong interest from Ipswich Town in Michael Chopra while over the past three months, we have faced relentless speculation from Nottingham Forest over their public pursuit of Peter Whittingham. I have been told on numerous occasions by Forest fans etc that it was a done deal while Forest Chief Exec Mark Arthur also went public, upsetting ourselves and Swansea City over Darren Pratley.
Arthur was rebuked by Gethin and Huw Jenkins respectively and also faced scrutiny by the football authorities. Since the transfer window shut, there has been considerable unrest amongst Nottingham Forest fans and Arthur has since responded in the media to appease those fans and explaining his disappointment at missing out on Whittingham.
Speaking to Nottingham Forest Player on the Forest official site, Arthur said:
It`s been a major disappointment for us. Both clubs [Cardiff City and Swansea City] decided to stick with them [Whittingham and Pratley] even though they were entering the last year on their contracts - we have to respect that."
"Unfortunately you can`t force people to sell."
Talks have already begun on a new deal for Whitts, who is understood to be impressed by the ambition shown over the summer and willing to commit to a new contract. Our determination to keep hold of Whittingham, a main contender for player-of-the-year last season has been impressive and re-enforced the promises made by our board. Peter Ridsdale rarely kept any of the marquee promises he regularly made proclaiming financial stability and the coming of a golden era. The new regime, led by Malaysian backers 'TG` and Vincent Tan have followed through on every promise thus far. What`s more, they are realistic, understated and on the evidence so far - very very astute.
With the acquisitions we have made to improve an already strong first XI - there are very promising signs that we can have a successful season. Morale at the club is at a 7 year high and with the transfer window shut, attentions can now turn to on-field matters and first-up is the sell-out clash at home to former Premiership outfit Hull City on Saturday.
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