With a new manager at the helm, who will take the captain’s armband for Nottingham Forest against Bristol City?

That is just one of a number of important decisions facing Martin O’Neill ahead of his bow at the City Ground on Saturday.

There are, of course, more pressing concerns.

Piecing together something close to resembling a back four could prove tricky.

Finding an attacking spark is imperative – with the Reds having drawn a blank in six of their last eight.

Who fills the No. 1 spot?

Should the likes of Ryan Yates and Arvin Appiah be involved?

If O’Neill was under any illusion as to the size of the task he has taken on, 48 hours should have been enough to narrow his focus.


(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

He will be as desperate as anybody to get off to a flying start this weekend.

Hit the ground running and momentum could yet carry Forest to a top-six finish.

Somebody – aside from O’Neill – is going to have to lead that charge, though.

Ben Watson is still technically club captain, but was firmly frozen out towards the end of Aitor Karanka’s reign.

Danny Fox has been skipper when available, but is about to serve a suspension amid questions surrounding his future.

Michael Dawson has been an obvious stand-in, but he is on the treatment table.

Who, then, leads the Reds out when they make an eagerly-anticipated return to action?

Ben Osborn has inherited captaincy duties at times during the enforced absence of senior colleagues.

There is, however, no guarantee that he will be handed a starting berth against the Robins.



Could the armband be passed to one of his midfield colleagues?

Jack Colback is a player O’Neill knows well from his time at Sunderland and boasts the necessary leadership qualities.

He would not be afraid to bark out orders from the engine room and seek to drag others along with him.

Claudio Yacob ticks many of the same boxes, but may be best left to focus on defensive duties if forced to provide centre-half cover again.

Adlene Guedioura is another capable of leading by example when on top of his game, but such displays have been in short supply of late.

Daryl Murphy has worked with O’Neill before in the Republic of Ireland set-up, but may lose his place to a fit-again Lewis Grabban if a solitary striker system is retained.

Several contenders, but Osborn perhaps still the most feasible option.

If he does get the honour, then almost as much as anybody else in the squad he will be hoping to make the most of a clean slate and open a new era as we all mean to go on.

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