Nuno's Nottingham Forest future up for debate as Murillo transfer worries grow

Murillo in action for Nottingham Forest
Murillo in action for Nottingham Forest -Credit:Getty

Nottingham Forest will bring the curtain down on their 2023/24 season with a trip to Burnley on Sunday (4pm kick-off). The Reds are all but assured of a third consecutive term of Premier League football. They will look to end the campaign in style and get over the line at Turf Moor this weekend.

Ahead of the final game, Forest reporter Sarah Clapson hosted a live questions and answers session with supporters on our Reds Facebook page. Below is a look at the tropics discussed...

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Q: We need to keep Murillo and Gibbs-White.

A: That’s the dream, isn’t it? They are both very talented, young players with great futures ahead of them. Ideally you build a team and a squad around them.

I can see Forest’s resolve being tested for one or both of them this summer, though. It would actually be more of a surprise if clubs don’t come knocking. They both have their admirers and have caught the eye with some brilliant performances this season. Clubs are already being linked with both of them.

I think we can expect the transfer talk around both of them to continue this summer. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into definite departures.

Forest do need to oversee player sales, but that doesn’t mean there will be a fire-sale. The club value Murillo and Morgan Gibbs-White highly and know what they are worth. It is all very well players having admirers and being linked with other clubs, but we will have to wait and see whether that translates into actual offers - and offers meeting Forest’s valuation.

Murillo and Gibbs-White have both got magic in their boots. They have been a joy to watch, so I really hope they do stay put. Having them develop at Forest would be the ideal scenario.

I can see Murillo making Forest a lot of money one day, but hopefully that day is not just yet. Forest will have to be mindful of sticking within the financial rules, and that is sure to affect their transfer plans. It would be great if they are able to do that without having to let go of one or both of their key assets. It will be a case of waiting to see how the summer unfolds, but the reality is the transfer talk around both of them is likely to continue.

Q: How many games do you think Nuno will get? I think 10.

A: Nuno's future is a really interesting topic. There has been improvement under him, but the level of improvement is up for debate.

Is it enough? And has he done enough to suggest there will be further improvement next season? Because that’s what Evangelos Marinakis is going to want. He is going to want Forest to be further up the table next year. If he thinks there will be another relegation battle on the cards, I’m not sure that will cut it. He wants progress.

Nuno has improved the style of play. He has got the team playing better and they have generally been more competitive in games. Forest stood up well against Chelsea and Manchester City in recent games.

You can certainly take a lot of positives and encouragement away from a lot of the performances, if not always the results. We have seen a lot of evidence of what Forest are capable of under Nuno, albeit perhaps not consistently.

But on the other hand, a number of areas do still require improvement and the same old errors have kept cropping up. The way Forest switched off for another 3-2 defeat against Chelsea kind of summed it up. Things like concentration, game management and set-pieces all need addressing.

Judging Nuno is tricky. He has had a lot to deal with when you factor in the refereeing issues, the furore after Everton, the points deduction and players missing for AFCON.

I do think there are mitigating factors. But as a head coach, it is never going to be a perfect ride whatever club you are at. You get paid to deal with whatever situations get thrown at you; you have to adapt accordingly.

I do think there is the basis of something good to build on and Nuno deserves the opportunity to do that. He deserves the chance to have a real crack at it, with time to work with the players in pre-season and with a few changes made to the squad. There is a lot to be said for giving managers time and having stability at a club. But I still think getting off to a good start next season is going to be crucial for him.

Q: Not sure about Nuno. The big issue is our away form, think it’s four wins so far in two seasons.

A: I forgot about that when I was pointing to the issues that need addressing. You are right, that is another thing Forest need to work on. There has been some improvement, including in terms of performances, but not huge.

For me, the jury is still out a little bit on Nuno based on this season. But to make the point again, I do think he deserves time and has done enough to be given the chance to build.

There is something there, it all depends on whether he shows he can develop it further next season. There is the basis of a good group in place and the basis of a good way of playing.

Early on in his tenure, Forest looked excellent. I always go back to the Newcastle game and then beating Manchester United. At that point, I really thought the team would kick on under Nuno.

However, at the turn of the year results and performances dipped. There are various mitigating factors behind that and it certainly cannot have been easy with the points deduction saga dragging on from January until early May.

Forest have picked up again towards the end of the season, though. The next step is finding consistency, which is easier said than done.

Next season, it will also be important to have continuity in team selection. Build around a core group. It didn’t help that it took Nuno a while to find his best XI this season, albeit it was understandable because he arrived midway through the campaign and then was without a number of players due to AFCON.

Nuno has proved he is a good manager before; he did a great job at Wolves. I think he deserves the chance to show he is capable of fixing the problems Forest still have.

Q: Said this before, Murillo is the best transfer this year.

A: Difficult to argue with that. He is such a terrific talent. He is the breakout star of the season and probably my player of the season, too.

He has taken to the Premier League so easily and looked right at home from the start. He is great at going forward, excellent on the ball and has also made some big interventions at the back.

He is only going to get better. The defensive side of his game, particularly in the air, can be worked on, but he has such a big platform to build on.

Hopefully Forest can hang on to him this summer. It would be great to see him progress again next year. Plus, he is going to score a stunning goal one of these days, isn’t he?! He has been a real find.

Forest have also done some other good transfer business. I’d say Callum Hudson-Odoi also has to be up there for best transfer. The £3 million Forest paid for him was an absolute steal. He had already proved himself to be a huge bargain a while ago, and it just looks like an even better bit of business with every passing week. The club haven’t got every signing right - far from it - but they have overseen some gems.

How would you sum up Forest's season? Have your say in the comments below