Nottingham Forest have brought their 2018-19 campaign to a close with a ninth-place finish in the Championship.

The standings dictate that there were eight sides better than the Reds this term.

While the club sit 29th on the English league ladder.

Is that about right?

Well, for a while it looked as though things could be much worse.

Having initially hoped for better, a rut was found to become stuck in.

Prior to a late flourish, a bottom-half slump was a distinct possibility.

Three successive wins to wrap things up ensured that the Reds just about got their head above mid-table mediocrity.

In many ways, we should be happy for that.

Ninth is as good as Forest have managed in six years.

They have only finished higher three times in the last 15 years!

Perspective

(Photo by Andrew Kearns – CameraSport via Getty Images)

A sense of perspective is required.

It is, however, impossible to ignore the fact that sights were being set above a final landing spot.

Inconsistency and another managerial change conspired against the Reds.

Martin O’Neill has divided opinion since taking the reins, with the jury still out.

He has said in the Nottingham Post of his tenure to date: “If I was taking the assessment following my 19 games in charge, I would have thought it was roughly where we probably should be, in the table.

“We have not had the consistency this season, to be perfectly honest. But we have not had that for quite some time, for a number of seasons.”

O’Neill is right.

He is, however, partly to blame for those faults remaining.

And many will feel Forest have punched below their weight this term.

Ninth was not part of the plan back in August.

Or when Aitor Karanka departed against a backdrop of reports suggesting that he lost the trust of his board after struggling to cement a top-six standing.

Challenge

 

If that was the challenge presented to the Spaniard, why was the same not set for O’Neill?

He has put down one for himself.

The Northern Irishman has said he will walk next summer if his 18-month contract ends without Premier League football back at the City Ground.

Given recent history on Trentside, that decision may be taken out of his hands!

If is to see his terms through, though, then he needs to move the club forward.

Having to contend with being the 29th best team in the country is not part of the plan.

It wasn’t for this season and certainly won’t be in the next.

Regardless of who you consider to shoulder the blame for Forest’s current standing, we have to make peace with it.

History counts for nothing.

Bold talk of future goals, ditto.

The events of the present will dictate whether Forest really have found their place or merely suffered a bump in the road which to leads to the destination we all long to reach.