As results continue to go against Nottingham Forest, the takeover by John Jay Moores is needed now to avoid the slide to League One, says Andrew Brookes

Forest’s impending takeover really can’t come soon enough and, for me, time really is of the essence if we want to avoid returning to League One.

This site has already documented the failures of the Fawaz era and, clearly, there’s a desperate need for the club to be run much more professionally off the pitch.

Yet, in the short term, I’m increasingly worried what will happen if we can’t get John Jay Moores and Charles Noell in the door sooner rather than later.

We were told this weekend that the deal is taking ‘longer than expected’ but this shouldn’t really be a surprise. Let’s face it, it’d be more of a shock if the would-be buyers didn’t trawl through the accounts and have one or two questions to ask.

One of my biggest concerns is the ability to plan ahead for the January transfer window. We’re only a few weeks away from this opening, but have no director of football and a manager in the hotseat who seems destined for the axe when the new regime comes in.

Will we even have the much-vaunted Oliver Burke money to play with? You fear not don’t you? If that’s the case then it’ll make his transfer seem even worse business than it did at the time.

The need for sensible signings is all the more pressing for two reasons: this season’s change of transfer rules and the pitiful form of many of the current first team squad.

The latter point has been hammered home in the last three games, which have had more than a faint whiff of ‘relegation battle’ about them.

First came the televised humiliation against Cardiff – a terrible performance all round. Then, the trip to Reading, which was an oddly subdued game in which golden chances were created and spurned and a couple of soft goals were conceded. Worst of the three though, for me, was the game we didn’t lose. To throw away the position we had at half time against a 10-man struggling QPR side was the final, compelling evidence that we’re in big trouble.

Struggling teams have shockingly bad days, days when they miss chances and days when they throw away golden opportunities. We’ve done all of these in the last three fixtures.

No matter what shape we play, the biggest worry for me is the team’s distinct lack of ability to hold on to the ball. Pajtim Kasami has been truly woeful – putting in the sort of performances that make Gary Holt look like Andres Iniesta in comparison. If we’re being blunt, an over-worked Chris Cohen has struggled too and we’ve seen the worst side of Henri Lansbury, whose new haircut puts the pony into show pony. Yes, the defence hasn’t been great, but it has been put under constant pressure by a midfield that is not good enough to dominate at this level. The foundations of the team, like that of the club, are built on sand.

I’m buoyed by the prospect of the craft and guile of David Vaughan alongside the energy of Matty Cash in midfield and a spate of returns from the treatment room should be positive for the rest of the side too. Indeed, it shouldn’t be overlooked that a constant stream of injuries have again dogged this campaign. A couple of weeks ago I looked at the fact that 11 players had suffered in-game injuries in the first 13 matches of this season alone. The procession of injuries is surely beyond being a coincidence yet no manager is ever around long enough to get to the bottom of the problem.

Yet, we can’t simply rely on all of those players returning. David Vaughan has been with the club since October 2013 but has only played in roughly half of the games since he joined. We need another player who can use the ball as well as he does so his loss isn’t felt so keenly. The sheer rate of injuries we’ve suffered in recent years would also suggest that there could be more around the corner.

The future might well be bright, with Cash, Joe Worrall, Toby Edser and the next batch of youngsters joining Ben Osborn in the first team but I feel there’s a need to steady the ship given the state of the team right now. January might well have to result the sort of short term shopping spree that Steve Cotterill needed in early 2012, the last time we were in limbo as the ownership changed hands. Snapping up a solid defender and midfielder (Leon Osman anyone?) can give this flimsy side some backbone and a platform from which the young guns can come in and thrive.

We shouldn’t be complacent about this challenge either. Anyone who remembers the last spell in League One will know that it’s really not that easy to come back. Those who think the current side is worse than the team that laboured in the third tier must have wiped the memories of Megson from their minds. Look at the struggles Sheffield United and Coventry have had too. Dropping down a level is not a risk worth taking but right now it’s a prospect we must take seriously.

This year the challenge of the January transfer window is greater than ever too, due to the fact that the emergency loan window is no longer in operation. Once January ends, the manager will be stuck with what he’s got. If a new appointment is on the horizon, they might not have that long to do some smart business.

Only once we get the new owners in can we get some certainty over the position of the manager and start to build a structure – hopefully including a new director of football and a proper board. Only then can we properly plan to do the business that’s needed in January.

That means there’s a lot to do before 2016 is out – and that’s not even thinking about the eight games left to play. On-field matters can’t be being helped by the limbo off the pitch, no matter what anyone at the club says publicly but if things drift too much longer we’ll soon be entrenched in the bottom three.

The sooner we get started the better.

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