With a new manager comes in, he brings fresh ideas and approaches as well as a lifeline for some key personnel. That is what Nottingham Forest fans can expect in the coming weeks.
Club legend Martin O’Neill started his job yesterday and will currently be busy looking at his squad, assessing their strengths and plotting an approach that can resurrect their flagging Premier League ambitions.
This past weekend we saw a disjointed and ill-disciplined Forest fall to a 2-0 defeat at Reading, losing key players in the process. There will be no Danny Fox, nor Tendayi Darikwa for the visit of Bristol City who are above Forest in the table.
With just one win in eight, that coming against the ten men of Leeds, something needs shaking up at Forest. We’re all for experimenting with formations and we’ve put together a line up that might not be conventional, but that could see some fresh life injected into the Forest side.
This is by no means the line up we expect to be taken into the coming months, Forest need shaking up and the frailties at the back are there for all to see. This back four is makeshift to say the least, the absence of Fox and Darikwa will be felt. It’s got Jack Robinson in his natural left back position, with Janko pressed into service as well.
Claudio Yacob played centre half on Saturday and will likely have to do so again, with us envisaging Joe Worrall’s recall imminently. Forest can’t keep losing centre backs and with the suspensions, Hefele and Dawson injured and a question mark over Figueiredo, they have to pick up the phone and ring Rangers. As a former Celtic manager, I doubt O’Neill will be too bothered.
In midfield there’s a shortage of numbers again, but we think Liam Bridcutt deserves a chance. Alongside Jack Colback he’d have a degree of protection, but he’s a quality midfielder and could find new life under O’Neill.
There’s no surprise up top. Daryl Murphy has played for O’Neill for Eire, but Lewis Grabban has to start. He’s a top striker and likely to be leading scorer in the division for a second successive season.
Whilst we also like Lolley and Carvalho, it’s surely time for Arvin Appiah to show what he can do. Ben Osborn and Matty Cash have done okay in recent weeks, but Appiah hasn’t been given a chance to shine.
At 18-years old he’s got huge potential and a few good performances might have the Premier League big guns getting their chequebooks out.