OPINION: Nottingham Forest are now in a relegation battle

FA Cup'Hull City v Nottingham 'Hull manager Nigel Adkins welcomes Forest manager Aitor Karanka.'27th January 2017.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
FA Cup'Hull City v Nottingham 'Hull manager Nigel Adkins welcomes Forest manager Aitor Karanka.'27th January 2017.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Nottingham Forest officially joined the Championship relegation battle with another lacklustre defeat at home to Hull City.

Losing to Hull was bad enough, but it now means there are only six points between the two sides and with their victory, with the Tigers propelling themselves out of the drop zone in the process.

Despite the wholesale changes at Nottingham Forest, managerially and on the playing field, little has changed regarding results, especially at the City Ground. Alarmingly, the Reds have not scored a single league goal at home since December 9th, when they edged past Bolton in a 3-2 win.

I sympathise with anybody that’s purchased a half season ticket, because they must be wondering what they’ve signed up for just now.

However, with hand on heart I can continue to say that things will improve and that we WILL stay up.

The whopping TEN new signings that Aitor Karanka has made will take a month or so to fuse together, and when they do, we will witness a notable improvement in results.

In the meantime, Forest face a mini relegation group stage as they are paired up against the likes of Burton, Reading, Birmingham and QPR.

A week or so ago, many labelled those fixtures as extremely winnable, but they have become debateable and contentious affairs. And the reason for the scepticism is understandable, when you take in to account that nearly 10,000 Forest fans have represented their team at the last two away fixtures, both ending in crushing defeats!

The second defeat at the hands of Hull City within the space of two weeks was a shock to the system, because the away side had not recorded a league victory in a staggering nine matches.

As the game unfolded, it was clear to see that the Tigers were more than capable of being tamed as they ventured into the Forest. But after a decent first few minutes for the Reds, it was a sorry tale of Groundhog Day as the early confidence subsided and any offensive manoeuvres were easily snuffed out.

Alarmingly, the Forest back four were devoid of confidence, especially Michael Mancienne, who appears to have the weight of the world on his shoulders.

I am a big fan of the former Chelsea starlet, but now is not the time for sentiment, and I feel that he could well be replaced by Tobias Figueiredo for the crunch game with Burton Albion.

The same applies to Danny Fox, who may play second fiddle to Raul Fuentes, who has a wealth of top flight experience in Spain.

A lot of NFFC supporters have alluded to the fact that the goals have dried up and that maybe the new Manager should have bought a proven striker or two?

If you’ve done your homework, you’ll know that Sheffield Wednesday’s Jordan Rhodes was a target for the club but didn’t come to fruition.

You must also then be aware that Karanka has always preferred to play a 4-2-3-1, therefore dispelling the theory that strikers are the be all and end all in second tier football.

Unfortunately, it’s a case of building from the back if we wish to stay up, but it must happen soon if Nottingham Forest are to avoid the drop into League One; let the relegation battle commence!