Actions will speak louder than words for Nottingham Forest this summer.

And there promises to be plenty of gossip.

The window is not even open yet and already the rumour mill has sprung into life.

That is not altogether surprising.

With the 2018-19 campaign over for the Reds, something is needed to fill the time.

Expect that void to be stuffed with an ever-increasing amount of conjecture.

Speculation is the order of the day for those seeking to whittle away the weeks until the next campaign gets underway.

Forest, you can bet your bottom dollar, are going to be linked with a ludicrous number of players.

Foreign fancies, Republic of Ireland internationals, Football League experience and potential – all boxes will be ticked.

And 90-odd per cent of the rumours will have no substance to them.


(Photo by Andrew Kearns – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Occasionally, though, a suitable target will be both identified and pursued.

Once these sights are set, the Reds need to move swiftly and decisively.

Getting bodies on board early is imperative if said new recruits are to hit the ground running.

European Cup-winning hero Kenny Burns has said in the Nottingham Post: “When it comes to making signings, I just hope we don’t do what we’ve done in the past and leave it until the last minute.

“All the best players have usually gone by then and you can get stuck with what’s left; the ones other clubs don’t want, or free transfers – and as I’ve said before, they tend to be free transfers for a reason.

“I’d like to see us get our business done early, or at least most of it done early, so we can concentrate on getting ready for the season then.”

Forest cannot really be accused of having bided their time last summer.

The vast majority of deals – including big-money ones for Joao Carvalho and Lewis Grabban – were pushed through in early July.

January was different.



But there is always a late flurry of activity in winter windows as there is only a matter of weeks in which to get agreements in place.

Forest also changed manager during the first month of 2019.

Martin O’Neill cannot have been expected to get all of his business done within days of taking the reins.

So while Burns is right to point out that deals must be done quickly, he is slightly wide of the mark when questioning recent recruitment history.

There is every reason to believe that O’Neill will be delivering on expectation this time around.

He has already met with owner Evangelos Marinakis and admitted to having plans in place.

Loan stars, such as Sam Byram and Jack Colback, have seen doors opened and imminent talks should be planned.

O’Neill has also had more than enough time to determine which areas are in need of strengthening.

The experiments are over, for now.

More are to be expected as new signings settle in, but that process should be completed during pre-season rather than in the competitive corner Forest were forced into this term.

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