It’s almost like a baptism of fire.
That at least seems to be how Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi is going to be treating the winter fixtures. He knew that this was going to come when he took over, describing the Championship as ‘the marathon league’, but now it is staring him right in the face and there’s going to be no hiding from it.
Speaking during his press conference ahead of the game with Bristol City, Lamouchi spoke about how the club is getting ready to go through it and that preparation is going to be key if they are to get as many points as they can over the winter period:
“It is really important for me to prepare my players and my team. Of course with the best possible results, we will enjoy this time. We need to focus because we have a lot of games. Don’t use too much energy and we need to immediately think about the next one… We need to take maximum precaution with our players because our squad is not so big. So we will start from now, the worst time of the season because there’s a lot of games. Next week we will have three games to play.”
This could really be a make or break time for Nottingham Forest, but more importantly for Lamouchi himself.
This will be the first time that Lamouchi will be going through such a busy time as manager, as both his spells at Stade Rennais and El-Jaish included some form of break during the winter, so it will be interesting to see how he handles it. He has already gone through a bit of a chaotic spell as Forest boss when it comes to resting players, with the handling Lewis Grabban coming under the most scrutiny for how they have managed his minutes, and the first time he dropped him resulted in a loss to Wigan Athletic.
Now though, the problems are going to be facing every single member of the squad, rather than just one man. Hopefully he’ll have taken on as much advice as he can from people who are used to going through this time of the year, and can adjust accordingly.
Will Forest be in the Top 6 come the end of January?
He’s spoken about how important this time of the year is, and when everything is said and done, the points earned during these games could set a real benchmark for the rest of the season, so let’s hope that he doesn’t make the same mistakes as he did earlier in the season, or we could end up playing catch-up.