Nottingham Forest must recruit decisively to make promotion dream a reality

Nottingham Forest have been hanging around the play-off zone all season but must recruit decisively if they are to make promotion a reality.

Wednesday, 26th December 2018, 1:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 5:11 pm
Lewis Grabban celebrates with his team mates after scoring in the game against Ipswich Town FC at The City Ground Nottingham on 01-12-18 Image Jez Tighe

At the time of writing, Forest had not yet entered the field of play against Norwich City, but the rhetoric remains the same, we need to be more expansive.

Back to back home defeats and three games on the bounce without scoring a solitary goal have left the natives somewhat restless, despite this recent slump in form the Reds remain very much in the hunt for promotion.

However, it’s a fine balance between making those play-off places and watching promotion slide out of view.

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Therefore, the transfer window has come at exactly the right time. I have changed the diction of this slightly after being ridiculed by a close friend.

As we chatted about all things Nottingham Forest I said, “January has come at the right time!” His reply was priceless; “It comes at the very same time each year mate, just after December!” A brilliant response to be fair.

Joking aside, almost every NFFC supporter I’ve spoken to has highlighted the importance of accurate recruitment in the upcoming transfer window, with the majority looking toward attack minded players.

A striker is high on the agenda but then again when are they not? The recent goal drought has magnified the weight of expectancy on the shoulders of Lolley and Grabban throughout the season so far.

The situation hasn’t been helped by the inconsistency of Joao Carvalho, a player I’ve constantly focussed on during our play off procrastination.

I’ve said all season that if he manages to maintain a decent level of consistency, we’ll be a play off side at very least.

Personally, an attacking winger/midfielder like Joe Lolley would be an ideal foil for the man himself and provide balance across the midfield three.

As for a striker, my personal take is that we should be looking for someone with pace. Lewis Grabban isn’t the quickest but has been a real success in and around the box.

In recent games, most notably against Derby, he’s gotten ahead of the opposition defence only to have been caught up and stifled.

And that’s not a criticism of the lad, just an observation.

Every striker has different attributes and pace is not something that Grabban possesses.

He’s served us brilliantly thus far but can’t be expected to carry the fight alone.

Of course, these players will cost money and how much will be available remains to be seen.

If the Ben Brereton sale goes through as planned, coupled with a little more from within the kitty, we may have close to 10 Million? And let’s be honest, that doesn’t buy you a great deal these days unless you’re very shrewd in the market.

But the fact we only paid £6m for Grabban tells me that if any club can pull off a possible double signing for close to £10m it’s Forest.

I will be as bold as to say that defensively we’re almost sorted, despite the recent injuries and suspensions of course.

Cover for the left-back spot would be good, and it can be done via the loan market too, Dougie Freedman decisively recruited Bojan Jokic after losing Danny Pinillos during his time at the club.

Saidy Janko can indeed play at left back but will always be targeted by opposition managers when naturally cutting inside onto his stronger right foot.

It would be remiss not to mention a goalkeeper, but I’ve always said that’s the whole point of having an understudy.

Many of our fans aren’t confident in the ability of Costel Pantilimon, for me he’s neither brilliant or terrible, just bang average. If the likes of Keiren Westwood became available on loan, then why not? But we have Luke Steele waiting in the wings too.

Of course, much of the above is speculative and based on our varying opinions as Reds supporters.

This magnitude of the forthcoming transfer window is huge for Nottingham Forest and may well be the difference between the success or failure of returning to the Premier league.