Nottingham Forest’s Jamie Ward is back on Reds duty and targeting a top-six finish.Ward, who featured regularly for Northern Ireland as they reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, has been working with new head coach Philippe Montanier and his staff for the first time this week after a brief period of rest.
And the attacker is in buoyant mood ahead of the 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship season.
Ward told Forest Player HD: “If you’re not looking to finish around the play-offs or top two, you shouldn’t be at this club.
“We’re an awful lot better than we showed last year – we shouldn’t be finishing as low as we did.
“We’ve got some big players back and that will bring a lot of confidence to the lads.”
Ward does not expect to be involved against Notts County in the club’s penultimate pre-season on Saturday, instead targeting the Hull City match on 30 July.
And he is hoping the experience he gained at the Euros has improved him as a player.
He said: “It was a great experience, a good level of football to play at and hopefully I’ve learned an awful lot from it.
“With three teams going through we always felt we could get to the second round and when we got Wales we thought we may be able to get to the next step.
“Unfortunately it wasn’t there on the day but, reflecting on it, it was a great tournament.
“It’s hard to put into words. It was a bit like a fairytale.”