After a strong start to the season Nottingham Forest are sitting pretty in the play-off positions as we head into the Christmas period.
Forest only had one win in the first three games under newly appointed manager Sabri Lamouchi, however they soon found good form in the later half of August and throughout September.
What I think has helped Forest this season is their squad development and recruitment. In the summer the acquisition of Brice Samba has provided Forest with a very capable goalkeeper who has made some excellent saves this season.
Sabri Lamouchi’s first signing of the summer, Tiago Silva, has been a key figure in the midfield and played superbly in the sides 1-0 win over Derby County last month. The Forest manager has also shown excellent tactical knowledge by moving Matty Cash into the right-back position, a decision that has helped to boost the form of the 22-year-old.
It is fair to say that Ben Watson has been influential in the first half of the season for Forest and has improved under new manager Lamouchi to become a key first team figure. He’s even picked up a few goals along the way. Midfielders Sammy Ameobi and Albert Adomah have been useful signings providing the team with a strong attacking outlet with both showing good pace.
A special mention must also go to Forest striker Lewis Grabban. He’s become a reliable first team player scoring 9 goals so far this season. The only piece of advice I could give him is to shave his god awful beard, then again, if he wants to maintain his Santa Claus look for December he might be able to gift his fellow team mates with some winning goals.
Last Saturday Forest suffered an unfortunate defeat to Cardiff at home, but with some winnable fixtures over the festive period, manager Lamouchi will hopefully get a few early Christmas points.
There’s no reason for Forest to think they can’t enjoy a good challenge for promotion and hark back to the glory days under Brian Clough. If they can bounce back from their loss last weekend and maintain good form over the next few months then the play-off could become a serious prospect. Some tough games are still to come including a trip to both West Brom and the excellent Rams at Pride Park (promise I’m not a Derby Fan).
Nottingham Forest are more than capable of achieving highly this season and to be sat in fourth going into the festive period is a good place to be. If they can maintain good form and get some results to go in their favour then a high placed finish is a reasonable prospect and maybe even a trip to Wembley.
Automatic promotion could be a struggle considering the form of Leeds and West Brom.
Brian Clough famously suggested he could have built Rome in a day. Lamouchi may take a little longer than that to achieve promotion – but if he can do it in his first season he may well be on his way to becoming a Forest legend himself.