OPINION: Keep the faith as Forest ‘reset’ will take time

Chris Cohen - defensive role?
MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY
Chris Cohen - defensive role? MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY

I keep telling everyone to keep the faith when it comes to the fortunes of Nottingham Forest this season, but in the meantime, Mark Warburton will have to get back to basics to keep the wolves from the door.

The former Rangers boss has come under a bit of criticism of late and may have to come out of his comfort zone to appease the supporters until the January transfer market opens up.

Warburton has had a decent start to the Championship campaign, and as I mentioned some weeks back, is trying to enforce his 4-2-3-1 formation as the pattern of choice for the Reds.

However, despite the addition of several new signings, it isn’t yielding a great deal of success.

If truth be told, the squad isn’t blessed with quality and has mid-table written all over it - which is fine with me because we are rebuilding a club that wasn’t fit for purpose just a couple of months back.

The Forest boss will have to use the players at his disposal until the right men become available.

But in the meantime, Warburton can work a little smarter in my opinion.

It’s glaringly obvious to all and sundry that Forest are defending poorly; so, priority number one is to stop the haemorrhaging. How? Well, Eric Lichaj, Michael Mancienne and Chris Cohen could well be a better fit to plug the gaps. Those players were permanent fixtures in Dougie Freedman’s side a few years back, a side that wasn’t attractive to watch, but one that was very hard to beat.

You’ll notice that I mentioned Cohen among that group of defenders, and I think that could be an unlikely solution, in what may well be his last year at the club.

The 30 year old could be an ideal fit for the left back role when he returns from injury.

Despite it not being his position of choice, I guarantee that he’d be far more disciplined than Armand Traore.

Regardless of his ‘minor’ injury, Warburton clearly doesn’t rate him as a midfielder. If he did, he wouldn’t have chased the likes of Bridcutt and McGinn.

Then we come to the glaringly obvious - Ben Brereton is not a winger!

Although I believe in the Warburton way of playing the game, the deployment of the 18 year old on the wing has to stop NOW. Ideally, the youngster could sit just behind Murphy in a 4-4-1-1 set up, which would suit him down to the ground.

That formation will ring a few bells amongst the Forest faithful, because the last man to deploy it, and quite successfully too, was Paul Williams in 2016.

A staggered front two would allow Brereton to bomb on past Murphy, rather than leaving the big man exposed as he has been of late.

I should emphasise the point that I really believe in our manager and what he’s capable of. I cannot begin to imagine the frustration and torment that plagues his mind from one week to the next, knowing exactly how he wants things to be when the club is fully fit for purpose again.

Forza Garibaldi summed the current situation up beautifully when they said: “Remember that we are weeks into one of the biggest reset buttons in the club’s recent history.”

Therefore; the points I’ve made earlier are just a case of using the tools at our disposal to keep the ship on course for a while.

Throw in the fact that the likes of David Vaughan, Matty Cash and Jamie Ward are due to return from injury soon and things don’t seem that gloomy any more.

If Nottingham Forest aim to stay off the canvas and avoid being counted out; they will need to box clever for a little while.