COMMENT By Matt Farr
It was confirmed on Tuesday morning that Nottingham Forest had appointed former Rangers chief Mark Warburton as their new manager.
The 54-year-old signed a two-year deal with the club, but faces an immediate uphill struggle to steer the Championship outfit away from relegation.
Warburton takes charge with Forest just two points clear of the drop, and he has just nine games remaining this season to turn their fortunes around, starting with a meeting with rivals Derby on Saturday.
But if Warburton is to strike immediate success with Nottingham Forest, he will need to ensure these three players are pulling their weight in the first-team.
McCormack cut short a miserable spell with Aston Villa to join Forest in the January transfer window on loan until the end of the season.
The 30-year-old is a proven goalscorer at Championship level, but struggled to find such form at Villa Park, and was quickly shipped out by Steve Bruce on deadline day.
But McCormack has yet to find his feet at the City Ground either, and Warburton will need to find a way to get the best back out of the striker.
From his first seven appearances he has scored just one goal for the club, and Nottingham Forest are not going to retain their Championship status without putting the ball in the back of the net.
In a season with fewer ups than downs, Osborn has been one of the more positive products from Nottingham Forest’s campaign.
The 22-year-old has been a key first-team player, scoring four goals and contributing five assists from 40 appearances in all competitions.
His versatility will prove very handy to Warburton as he seeks to implement his preferred system at the club in little time, and that should help for a smoother transition.
But it is also important for Osborn to maintain, and better, his current level of performances.
He has been playing well, but the results on the pitch haven’t been good enough, and the two need to go hand-in-hand in their quest for survival.
Warburton showed a lot of faith in his younger players during his Rangers tenure and Ben Brereton is a player that he is sure to take a liking to. The 17-year-old has already made a lasting impact on the first-team squad, breaking into the senior setup in the new year to moderate success.
Since making his debut as a late substitute against Leeds on January 25, Brereton has contributed three goals and two assists from his nine appearances in the Championship.
He has already proven to be a fantastic find from the club’s academy ranks, but Warburton’s arrival should see Nottingham Forest get much more out of the young forward.
In other Nottingham Forest news, the club are in talks over a new takeover approach.