Where could Nottingham Forest turn next after catalogue of failure if Chris Hughton is sacked?

By Bruna Reis

Nottingham Forest fell to another home league defeat at the weekend, this time at the hands of Cardiff City, as their woes continue.

Chris Hughton's men scored the first goal through striker Lewis Grabban in the first half before Rubin Colwill scored a brace in the second.

Forest sit rock bottom of the Championship table after five defeats and a draw.

On this week's Garibaldi Red podcast, Forest legend Garry Birtles and BT Sport and BBC Radio Five Live broadcaster Darren Fletcher joined Matt Davies to discuss the game and Hughton's future. You can listen to the full podcast now, or watch it here.

What did you make of the game against Cardiff?

Garry Birtles: "It was the same old, same old. Looking at the teams, I've said this before going back years; they look like a schoolboy team at times.

"We don't like a physical team that can compete with some teams in that division. I felt a bit sorry for [Brice] Samba at times.

"He's kicking the ball 60 yards to strikers who can't or won't head the ball. I loved heading a ball. It was my job.

"Our strikers are putting pressure on the back four [because they don't win the ball]. That problem with strikers should have been addressed.

"The owner keeps putting the money in. You got to applaud him for that.

"People have to take responsibility for the players coming in. Apart from a couple, they've been particularly poor signings all the way through."

Darren Fletcher: "Everything in the transfer window should have been around getting a striker. You can't see either they have now being a consistent source of goals.

"I was astonished the main priority wasn't a centre forward this summer to improve the team. I was flabbergasted the first signing was a keeper.

"They got attacking players in like Zinckernagel, but they didn't get a central striker to build around. That will cost them.

"They needed to be bullish in the transfer market. You need consistent goals in this division. This team would look so different if they had a number nine who played like a number nine. It would give them something different."

What has gone wrong with Chris Hughton?

Fletcher: "I would hold my hand up and say I was wrong. I thought we'd see an instant impact from Chris and then gradual progress.

"This looked a very good appointment, but I don't see them any further on as a team than the day he came here.

"I don't see progress, a pattern or anything that gives you optimism that they're a result away from kicking on.

"They're a team caught in the fog. Other teams look more comfortable in what they are. Forest look like a nice team to play against.

"Chris is never going to get the fans on his side with the way he wants to play unless you win.

"If teams aren't winning but playing a certain way, you'll get a connection with a crowd. The board have to stick with someone at some stage.

"Whatever they do, they can't get the right combination of player, manager and recruitment. It doesn't feel joined up.

"The way Chris plays, they'll try to win by the odd goal. They'll only win that way because they aren't expansive and attacking.

"To get momentum from here will be hard. It's an uphill battle now. We could talk for hours on recruitment, on the team, on the manager, on the strikers alone.

"There's a jigsaw on the floor, and they're trying to put it together again.

Can it work between CEO Dane Murphy and Chris Hughton?

Birtles: "The game is evolving all the time. I don't think a manager or coach can't have carte blanche on signings.

"If you have a chief exec bringing in players and a manager who wants his players, there will be a clash.

"It won't work. You worry the collision will come."

Fletcher: "If you change Chris, what would you do? People are saying Chris Wilder, but I'm led to believe there's been no conversation there.

"If they go back to a European coach, then would that work? It's not as if you can say this change is guaranteed to turn it. That was meant to be Chris.

"I didn't hear many people say that's a terrible appointment. Who would decide when to sack him? Who do you go and get?

"I don't think there's an exact science here. If I were Chris, my worry would be that you have no connection to the fans.

"If they're not with you, it's difficult. There's a lot of layers, and it's not as easy as sack him or not.

"They've changed so many times, and it's never gone right. John Terry has never managed a club in his life, and you want to give him a team with one point at the bottom of the table?

"With his baggage, you would have the scrutiny and spotlight on him. Do you really want to bring that? My view would be that chairmen have reservations about him for whatever reason.

"If you're looking at John Terry at this stage, that's catching lightning in a bottle because no one knows if he can manage or not.

"Once you make the choice to have Dane Murphy lead the business you have to let him, or you shouldn't have appointed him.

"The ownership have to tell him to get the manager and live or die by it. If they don't, they've got the wrong man in running it.

"He knows now if he believes in Chris Hughton. If he is then come out and be honest with the fans."

How much trouble are Forest in?

Birtles: "We all remember how difficult League One is. It was a battle for Forest. Look at Sunderland still in it.

"Marinakis has spent loads. I don't think the transfers between Olympiacos help, but he's putting millions in."

Fletcher: "There would be no club without his money.

"How many games are this team going to win? They won't win 50 percent.

"They might win 10 or 12. Every game, even now, it's looking difficult. There's a finite number of games.

"Forest have one point on the board."

What are your thoughts on Forest's summer recruitment? Have your say in the comments below


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.