Forest fell to 10th in the Championship on Saturday, when their 3-0 loss at Huddersfield extended their run of games without victory to eight.
Despite starting the season in remarkable form, injuries and a loss of form have seen the Reds struggle to find any consistency to their play, and the goals have dried up for the club - with Britt Assombalong scoring just once in the last eight games.
The club were praised at the start of the campaign for their fighting spirit, and they were often found attacking games with abandon, although the club have become more conservative in recent weeks, and they have suffered in the process.
And it is this conservatism that Kenny Burns - who won two European Cups with Forest - believes is costing the club their place at the top of the table. Speaking to the Nottingham Post, Burns admitted that he never expected to see a Forest side managed by Stuart Pearce so devoid of aggression, passion and confidence.
The former Scottish international defender said: “I never thought I would say this about a Nottingham Forest side managed by Stuart Pearce, but, right now, there is no fire, no aggression, no passion and no confidence in the Reds' side.
“All of those words trip off the tongue when you think about Pearce as a player, but he's getting little of it from any of his players at the moment as their bad run in the Championship hit a low point with the 3-0 defeat at Huddersfield.”
As a player, Pearce was renowned for his never-say-die attitude and on-pitch fighting spirit, and, although he has become more conservative as a coach, one would expect the Forest players to fight harder with a such a legend at the City Ground leading them. However, the players have not lived up to his past, and Burns wants to see Pearce ‘get stuck in’ to the squad.
He added: “He's definitely got to try something to stir them back into life, back into the unbeatable form that lifted them to the top of the table not so long ago, and that strikes me as a good way to give them a jolt.
“I'm not talking about him tearing into his players for no good reason, but he has to get stuck into them and let them know that their performances are nowhere near good enough.”