Nottingham Forest have been toasting the European Cup heroes of 40 years ago and told to “keep dreaming”.

Back in 1979 few would have expected the Reds to conquer the continent.

They did just that though.

And then did it again for good measure.

Just to prove that the first time was no fluke.

There were further successes before the turn of the century, with Brian Clough remaining at the helm until 1993.

The 21st century has, however, been a struggle.

To say the least.

No top tier football has been seen at the City Ground in the noughties or teens.

A ninth-place finish in 2018-19 means another decade of knocking on the door has delivered no answer.

Elite

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

As things stand, August 2020 is the earliest that Forest could be rubbing shoulders with the elite.

Such a standing has been the rather obvious goal for some time now.

It has been a million miles away at times.

Life in League One was no fun.

Steps in the right direction are being taken at present, but the Reds are hardly breaking into a sprint.

Hope, though, springs eternal.

Off the field, everything is falling into place.

Evangelos Marinakis is the owner Forest have been crying out for and he wants us all to believe that miracles – on a slightly diluted scale to the 1970s – can happen again.

Forest’s Greek supremo has told the club’s official website: “When I saw Mr Clough being interviewed you could tell he was confident, a winner, a man who believed in his dreams and encouraged other to follow him to the heights of Europe’s elite.

“These values and visions are what form our DNA of today.

“It’s not just about the history and what was achieved, it’s about learning from that mentality and applying it now.

Trying

 

“However far away it may seem we must keep dreaming that we will return to that level.

“We should never stop trying until the moment we take this club to where it deserves to be.”

Strong words.

Now for action.

Starting with the summer transfer window.

If Forest can get things right over the next couple of months, then dreams really can start to form.

The next step remains the most important.

Get recruitment right, allow Martin O’Neill to find an approach that works, and anything is possible once more.

Marinakis wants us to believe.

And we are desperate to do just that.

We just need something to cling on to, allowing us to be dragged along for another memorable ride.

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