An extended stay in the Championship may not be the only consequence of Nottingham Forest missing out on a play-off spot.

It is the most immediate, with dreams of Anfield and Old Trafford having to be put on hold for another year.

Deepdale and Ewood Park will have to do again for 2019-20.

Such trips will be made with a renewed sense of optimism regardless of what happens in the remaining four games of the current campaign.

Each passing summer brings with it a fresh round of euphoria.

It does, however, remain to be seen who will be singing the tune next season.

And who will be dancing to it.

Changes are to be expected.

How many and in which departments are anybody’s guess.

Martin O’Neill, for all of those ready to hand him a P45, has offered no indication that he is going anywhere.


(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Other than the office of Evangelos Marinakis with cap in hand.

Please sir, can I have some more?

The Reds boss has already acknowledged that he needs bodies on board.

Given that Forest already have over 40 players on their books – including those out on loan – a major refresh could be on the cards.

New additions are a given.

So are departures.

And it is the latter of those two categories which could offer more concern than it should.

The idea of throwing open the exit door is to dispense of the deadwood.

Could a few others slip the net though?

O’Neill said in the Nottingham Post after witnessing his side suffer a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Blackburn: “We have got some talent here at this club, which needs nurturing and seeing through.

“I would not like to see the players who have natural ability go to other clubs.

“We have to supplement that with some players who can help this club achieve what it should be.”



Reading between the lines, is O’Neill expecting interest to be shown in prized assets?

Should we all?

The likes of Joe Lolley, Lewis Grabban and the divisive Joao Carvalho may be tied to long-term contracts, but what are they really worth?

Fresh terms have become mere lip service in modern football.

Few are worth the paper they are printed on.

Marinakis has carried Forest a long way clear of the Al Hasawi regime off the field, but his resolve has not really been tested to this point.

What happens if that situation changes this summer?

You would hope that the Reds now have enough ambition, and money in the bank, to ensure that any enquiries for those not for sale will be given short shrift.

Forest do have players of “natural ability” on their books at present.

That has not been enough, though, in 2018-19 and will the full cast be back for more in August?

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