Nottingham Forest’s defeat to Preston North End should not mask the progress being made

Nottingham Forest slipped to a 1-0 defeat against a tough Preston North End side. Image Jez Tighe.
Nottingham Forest slipped to a 1-0 defeat against a tough Preston North End side. Image Jez Tighe.

Even though Nottingham Forest slipped to only a third league defeat of the season, I’m happy for them to carry on as they were.

The Championship is one of the most competitive divisions in world football and the results it’s thrown up this season are solid proof of such a statement.

For example, West Bromwich Albion won away at Norwich and scored four goals in the process, they also plundered seven against QPR just a week later.

On the flip side, they’ve been defeated at home by Bolton and humiliated in the same stadium by Derby County.

At this stage last season, Wolves led the way with 48 points from 21 games whilst Fulham sat in 12th position on just 29 points.

Given the fact that Forest were forced to reshuffle their back line due to injuries and suspension, they did almost everything in their power to put Preston out of sight before half-time on Saturday.

Remarkably, having dominated the first 45 minutes they failed to take a deserved lead in the match.

It’s fair to say that the chances they created were not goal bound shots and more like near misses.

The deadly due of Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban caused problems for the Lilywhites on a handful of occasions and had Lolleys’s volley gone the other side of the post on the stoke of half-time, the game may have taken a different trajectory.

A handful of supporters were critical of Forest’s inability to take the initiative and possibly drive into third spot in the table, but it was always going to be a difficult task.

Aside from the injuries and suspensions, when all’s said and done, Preston had only suffered one defeat in their last ten games and were vehement opponents.

We can pontificate and deliberate as to whether our goalkeeper is good enough or that we have a deep enough squad, but the fact of the matter is simple, we could and should have beaten Preston.

Of course, there are inefficiencies within our side but sometimes you just have to accept the hit.

I for one, am not too perturbed by the loss or even the performance in general. The reason for my rational is simple, for the most part, Forest have been consistently successful in what they’ve been doing.

Whilst they’ve not pulled up the proverbial trees, they’ve been defensively resolute and on the attacking front have scored ten in their last five Championship outings.

The formula of late has been good and sometimes you just have to accept a loss and carry on.

Cast your minds back to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa; a tournament that not only saw Spain earn their first world title but become the first European nation to achieve such a feat outside of their own continent.

Sunday June 6th 2010 saw el Espanyol succumb to an opening day defeat at the hands of the Swiss, a result that could have derailed the European Champions bid for world domination. However, thirty five days later in Johannesburg all was forgotten as they achieved the most prestigious accolade in world football.

Proof that when something’s destined for success, the setbacks are futile in comparison to the end goal!

Nottingham Forest will indeed rise again following their defeat to Preston and what a game to bounce back in! Fierce rivals Derby County are the next opponents for the Reds, a fixture that has an utter disregard for the Gods of form and statistics.

Regardless of the shock defeat to Preston, I’m confident that Nottingham Forest will put it behind them and carry on regardless.