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‘Might be too early’ – Chris Hughton’s situation at Nottingham Forest: The verdict

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This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more

The pressure is slowly beginning to build on Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton after a poor start to the season.

The Reds have fallen to three defeats in their first three Championship matches, with a poor end to last season creeping into this campaign.

Last night, Forest fell to a third successive 2-1 defeat, losing at home to Blackburn Rovers. The visitors secured all three points with a late winner courtesy of Darragh Lenihan, who headed in from the penalty spot.

Forest found an equaliser before that through Philip Zinckernagel, after Daniel Ayala had headed Tony Mowbray’s side in front shortly after half-time.

During the second half, boos began to ring out as Alex Mighten was replaced by Joao Carvalho, followed up by chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” and even songs about Hughton’s predecessor, Sabri Lamouchi.

Fans are beginning to lose patience, and on social media, a number of supporters believe that it is time for Hughton to leave.

Would that be the right decision so early on in the season? We discuss…

Billy Mulley

Three games is too early to be calling for a manager to be sacked in my opinion.

Chris Hughton has proved to be an excellent manager at Championship level in the past, and there is certainly still time, or at least there should be, for him to turn it around.

Forest have lost out in very tight affairs in all three games that they have played so far, and they are seemingly rather unlucky to find themselves without a point, especially when considering how close they were on the opening day of the season.

Forest have not been able to recruit as they would have liked this summer, but as the window draws to a close, I am sure Forest will bring in some quality into area where they quite evidently need it.

If this bad form continues 2-3 weeks past the transfer window, then that is when serious questions will need to be asked of Hughton.

Jordan Rushworth

Chris Hughton is certainly in a very difficult situation at Nottingham Forest now and the Reds have shown in the past that they will make the decision to change managers in these kinds of moments of form.

Forest were handed a challenging start to the campaign with a tricky trip to Coventry City for their first game back at their home stadium. While Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers were always going to provide a test for them. However, you would have expected the Reds to take at least a couple of points from those fixtures.

Hughton is of course a vastly experienced manager and he has a lot of proven Championship pedigree that should not be ignored even though Forest are in a difficult period.

Having said that, at some clubs managers with proven pedigree prove not to be the right fit and end up needing to be moved on. The issue is that Nottingham Forest need some stability in terms of their managerial situation after so many changes in recent seasons.

It might be too early to for Forest to dispense with Hughton, but if results do not come in the next couple of matches then it could reach the stage where he runs out of time to turn things around.

Quiz: Have Nottingham Forest won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?

1 of 25

Have Forest won or lost more against Aston Villa?

Adam Jones

It’s a tough one because morale seems to be at an all-time low in the East Midlands right now and their early sacking of Sabri Lamouchi last season paid dividends in dragging them away from danger.

However, you need to take a few things into account. Firstly, the absence of Joe Worrall has had a detrimental impact on their defence.

This is a side that conceded 45 goals in 46 league games last season and the contrast from last term to now just shows how much of a miss he is. With him back in the side, they should improve.

Secondly, the recruitment at the City Ground so far this summer has been poor. Not in terms of players, because the Philip Zinckernagel signing was particularly impressive, but the speed at which they managed to get players in.

The transfer market this summer might be different because of Covid-19, but the fact they only managed to get Jordi Osei-Tutu and Zinckernagel in quite late has been disruptive and there’s still plenty for them to do until the window closes. In this sense, Hughton has been stitched up.

These two reasons are why they should keep hold of him for now, although a few more losses change the picture.


Nottingham-based journalist who regularly covers Nottingham Forest home and away.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘Might be too early’ – Chris Hughton’s situation at Nottingham Forest: The verdict

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