Nottingham Forest find themselves teetering on the brink of a Championship precipice.

Re-establish a sound footing, lock the climbing ropes in and the summit of a top-six finish can still be reached.

Suffer another untimely slip and a tumble into lower-half mediocrity beckons.

Getting everybody pulling in the same direction is very much the order of the day.

Martin O’Neill has spoken regularly of the inevitable learning curve which accompanies picking up a managerial baton mid-season.

He has also aired a desire to complete that process as quickly as possible.

As the January transfer window slammed shut, the Reds boss told the club’s official website: “We certainly wanted to add to the squad so we can compete to reach the play-off places and I just want to have a real go at it.

“Of course we have a little bit of ground to make up and every defeat just knocks you back a bit and we’re reaching a stage where every result is extremely important.

“January is a very difficult time to bring players into the football club but we feel like we have recruited the necessary number of players into the squad.”

Risks

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Forest now need to have ‘a real go at it’.

They have no other option.

If they are to force their way back up the promotion mountain, they are going to have to take a few risks.

Boom or bust.

O’Neill has little to lose in the grand scheme of things.

He inherited a side stuck in a rut of inconsistency and has so far been unable to free them from it.

There is more than enough quality at his disposal to avoid being dragged down the division, so take a punt.

Hope

 

Forest handed a European Cup-winning hero of the past an 18-month contract upon his arrival, with there more than a slight nod towards the future in that agreement.

The Reds are dealing more in hope than expectation at present.

There are, however, obvious benefits to be found in building from this point.

Even if a play-off spot were to prove elusive, momentum can be established leading into another recruitment drive over the summer.

O’Neill will get to put his stamp on things and mould the squad in the image he and Roy Keane see fit.

There is still much to play for in the present though.

Having vowed to have a go, all of those at the City Ground – supporters included – now need to deliver on that promise.

It may all come to nothing as a precarious perch proves too treacherous.

Better to die trying.