Change is required at Nottingham Forest over the summer of 2019.

An opinion that is universally shared among the Reds faithful.

Quite what form said changes take is where the division starts to form.

In the dugout?

On the pitch?


Ask 10 people what they would do at the end of the season and you would likely get as many different answers.

Some will see their demands met.

Others will not.

A happy medium would probably be welcomed across the board.


(Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Getting to that point, though, is going to take patience and persistence.

Especially as there is no agreed plan of action.

Taking the managerial issue out of the equation for a moment, what is required where it matters most – out on the pitch?

Fresh faces, certainly, but where and how many?

There are easy arguments to be made for additions from front to back.

And that approach may well be taken by whoever makes the recruitment calls – Evangelos Marinakis, Martin O’Neill, whoever.

There have, though, been cries for qualities to be sought that cannot be assessed all that easily.

Garry Birtles is among those to have said in the Nottingham Post: “Norwich, Leeds, Sheffield United and the like have all had injury and suspension problems and have managed to come through it – it’s about recruitment, bringing in players with the right mental ability.

“Forest’s mentality is brittle. And I don’t think you can change the mentality, like you used to. You have to bring players in that think the right way.

“It’s going to be a very difficult summer because not only is Martin going to have to do some serious remedial work on his squad, he’s also got to instil a tougher, more resistant mentality into his squad with those that will remain.

“He’s going to have to bring players in that have got the right mentality to get Forest promoted, the correct mindset to be successful.”

A sensible enough suggestion, but one that is almost impossible to deliver on.

How do you determine the mindset of a player before getting them through the door?



To suggest that those recruited in recent windows lack those qualities is both a professional and personal slight on their respective characters.

Are we really to believe that any player has arrived at the City Ground not wanting to do well?

Some personalities may be more fragile than others, but everyone wants to be a success.

Costel Pantilimon, Jack Robinson, Yohan Benalouane, Alexander Milosevic, Jack Colback, Ryan Yates, Ben Osborn, Joe Lolley – hardly a shy and retiring bunch.

They have made up the spine of the side for the most part this season.

Positive mental attitude is vital in sport at all levels, but Forest’s struggles for consistency cannot be blamed entirely on that one factor.

They also cannot be expected to go and pluck those credentials from a congested market.

Ability will always be the biggest driver of transfer dealings.

Sometimes you have to chance your arm and hope for the best.

Forest have big characters, will probably seek a few more, but need to avoid being set impossible missions as they seek to make a Premier League return mission possible.