As the dust settles on a pretty drab 2020/21 campaign, Nottingham Forest can’t spend too much time dwelling on it and must switch their focus to the future.
The Reds have some big decisions to make and when it comes to new contracts, Chris Hughton must avoid sentiment.
Samba Sow is one of several players who will be out of contract in the summer and Forest must part with the Malian.
The midfield warrior has proven a snip of a signing at £640,000 but his fitness problems perhaps highlight why Forest landed him so economically.
Sow was a real battering ram of a midfielder last season. He made 26 appearances, with Forest losing just four games when he played.
He did miss 19 games through injury though and similar issues have arisen during the current campaign.
Sow has played just 16 games for the Reds and hasn’t made a single appearance since a goalless draw with Barnsley in January.
That does represent a cause for concern and he’s only made one squad since his last outing.
Given his quality it might be easy for Hughton to consider giving him a new deal to extend his stay at the club.
When fit he is combative, works hard and always plays football with a smile on his face; suggesting his presence in the dressing room is useful.
Quite simply that isn’t enough though.
Forest need more players who are capable of the rigorous demands of a grueling 46-match campaign and Sow doesn’t look up to it.
It’s unfortunate for a player who has been superb when called upon but in these post-pandemic times, every penny will count.
Forest have to be meticulous in their search for new players during the summer and first some will have to leave.
Sow has served the Reds well given his paltry transfer fee but logic should override sentiment this summer.
As a result, Hughton has to cut wish him well and cut Sow adrift at the end of the campaign.