Forest suffered a poor season in 2017/18 and were close to beginning this campaign as a League One outfit. Which is not where a club of Forest’s stature belongs. As such, changes have been made recently and Aitor Karanka is now the man at the helm.
Last season it came down to the final day to decide Forest’s future, and the Reds can’t stand that again.
They’ve been a middling second tier team for a while now, but after a recent ownership takeover the club has its sights firmly fixed upwards once again.
There’s a burden on Karanka’s playing squad to hit the level required by the new ownership’s ambition, and the gaffer will be keen to emphasise that last season’s display was far from good enough.
Karanka will likely look to the ambitious young contingent in his squad to find those who are most hungry to bring success to the City Ground.
Clough is about to embark on his third campaign at the City Ground, following his move in January 2017 that was said to be worth upwards of £3 million.
Clough hasn’t managed to make himself a regular for Forest though, and last season found himself farmed out on loan back to his old club, Bolton Wanderers.
At only 23 years of age, Clough’s stale period is far from a signifier that he’s reaching the end of the line.
A show of faith from Karanka and the injection of confidence that only comes with getting a run in the first team could be all that it takes to get Clough finally firing on all cylinders for Forest.
If the attacker were to find form this season then it could have profound ramifications for the fortunes of his team. Whilst it’s defensively that Forest struggled so much last season, extra goals and chances being created can’t hurt their odds of an improved campaign this time around.