Having dramatically missed out on a play-off spot last season, Nottingham Forest had hoped to go one better in this campaign.
Even before the halfway mark though, it’s pretty clear that the Res won’t be pushing for promotion in the next six months, as they sit outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
A high turnover of players in pre-season hasn’t helped, and Sabri Lamouchi was sacked back in October after a poor start.
The hierarchy turned to the experienced Chris Hughton to take over, and here we assess the impact the former Brighton chief has made.
How’s it gone so far?
It has been a nightmare.
Hughton has picked up 13 points from 14 games, which is relegation form. They have really struggled in recent weeks too, failing to win in seven ahead of tonight’s huge clash against Sheffield Wednesday.
Perhaps the biggest worry is the level of performances. The boss hasn’t got the team playing well, he doesn’t know his best team and they aren’t scoring goals.
Quiz: Did these 25 players make more or less than 100 Nottingham Forest appearances?
What issues does he face?
Too many! The immediate priority is to get the team away from the relegation zone. It’s too soon to say Forest are fighting to stay in the Championship but they are in a rut and need to start picking up points quickly.
In the bigger picture, Hughton has inherited a messy situation at the City Ground. The squad is far too big, yet new signings are still needed. It’s going to take a few windows to turn this around, but the Forest hierarchy aren’t known for giving people time.
As touched upon, the only concern right now is getting results. It would be wrong to say Hughton is fighting for his job already, but he will know this run can’t carry on.
Once he has got the team up the table, he needs to sit down with the owner and sort out a long-term plan and a major clearout and rebuild will be required.