Garry Birtles: Nottingham Forest have not matched their summer ambitions this January
LET us not fall into the trap of having short memories.
There is a reason why there was so much optimism; so much hope drummed up among the fans of Nottingham Forest back in the summer.
As when the Al Hasawi family first took control, they demonstrated their ambition.
It seemed they had proved their intent when they invested between £4m and £5m on new players.
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Yes, Chris Gunter was sold for £2.5m to Reading, to balance things out a little.
But, as Forest lavished cash on signing Simon Cox, Henri Lansbury, Adlene Guedioura, Danny Collins, Dan Harding and Greg Halford, there was no question that the club's new owners meant business.
It would be unfair to forget that, just a few months down the line.
But, at the same time, now there is a question mark over what is happening at Forest.
January disappointment is nothing new at the City Ground. But, given what has gone before it, the failure to add the three or four permanent additions the manager had spoken about is particularly telling this time around.
In the past, we never quite expected anything to happen.
Because, as much as Billy Davies might have voiced his concern, it barely ever did.
Forest just don't do January.
But this time, it meant a little more. There was always going to be more read into what happens during this window, because the club have taken some big steps in the last few weeks.
Sean O'Driscoll was sacked on Boxing Day, when the team was just a point off the play-offs.
Then we saw Mark Arthur, Keith Burt and Frank Clark follow him out of the exit.
None of this was great PR for the club.
But some of it could be mitigated, if they then threw their weight behind Alex McLeish.
Ambition and desire for success was given as the reason to make the change at the top; for jettisoning O'Driscoll and replacing him.
And when McLeish, it seems, was then told he could bring four or five new faces in during January, it looked as though that ambition the Al Hasawis had spoken of would be demonstrated.
But, today, as we head into the final day of the window, there is not a huge amount of activity expected on the horizon.
Yes, Gonzalo Jara and Elliott Ward are decent additions on loan. They could even become more permanent in the summer.
But, since McLeish spoke of needing those three or four new additions, the only signing made has been that of Darius Henderson.
Again, that is not a bad addition. But it does not blow your socks off.
With no disrespect at all to him, I didn't think to myself 'right, Forest are going to win promotion now'.
And that was the kind of reaction we all expected to have before the end of the window.
With a few hours left, time is running out for that to happen.
If it doesn't, then there will be more questions asked.
And the memory of last summer's ambitious stance will start to fade just a little more.