It looks like this could finally be the year that Nottingham Forest return to the Premier League. It has been a long absence and it was been quite an exile; one that has seen them drop down to League One. However, under the guidance of Sabri Lamouchi things are looking more positive and the January manager of the month will be hoping he is the one taking them back up.
They are currently 4th in the Championship and are just five points behind leaders West Bromwich Albion. The form of late has been good despite a shock loss to Birmingham City but they are fully deserving of their place in the play-off positions.
Their position in the league is still in a precarious one as they could drop out of the play off places with Brentford, Preston and Bristol City breathing down their necks; ready to pounce. The important thing they have to remember the job is not done and a few bad results could mean another year in Championship.
However, on the weekend they managed to defeat Leeds United, who are in 2nd place, and they managed to beat them comfortably in a 2-0 win. The result was obviously important but the manner of the win was even more important. They frustrated Leeds United and restricted them to one shot on target. Leeds were left reeling from the opening goal from Sammy Ameobi and despite dominating possession they could not break down the stout rearguard down. Tyler Walked sealed all three points in injury time.
The former European champions will be hoping that Joe Lolley stays fit until the end of the season after his impressive performances so far. His effortless pressing from the front is a strong attribute and the reason Forest had so much success against Leeds.
One thing that was apparent was the fact that Forest created a cauldron of noise. The City Ground was pumping and they were behind every kick of the game. It can sometimes be an overused cliché but they really are the 12th man who can make the difference. With attendances flying high, it is important that the fans stay on the Lamouchi’s side until the end now.
Forest have an ideal opportunity to put more pressure on the top of the table this week with a midweek visit from Charlton Athletic, who are floundering near the relegation places, and then a trip to top of the table West Brom could really cement a position in the play offs and possibly an automatic place.
Focus is the key for them now. With the season now in the business end, it is so important for Nottingham Forest that they do not slip up in their bid for promotion. The energy has to be there every week, the togetherness needs to be there and more importantly the players need to get results. They have been impressive all season, so they cannot let that slip now otherwise it will have all been for nothing.