With us just about managing to keep our heads above water in recent seasons, Forest have struggled to show signs of progression and we endured a further setback this weekend with the 2-0 loss to promotion hopefuls Fulham.
In yet another period of transition for Nottingham Forest, we did at least see positive signs in that fantastic FA Cup victory against Arsenal – but then we blew it, going out of the competition to Hull City last week.
Losing to Fulham ensured a third consecutive defeat in all competitions and we`ll have to go back to the drawing board ahead of our Championship clash against relegation-threatened Hull City next weekend. Time for our cup exit revenge? If not, defeat would leave us just six points above the drop-zone.
What three lessons did we learn from the latest setback?
Karanka sees something in the side
Despite the defeat, Karanka was very upbeat with his comments after the match as he looked to praise their performance against a team that`s one of the best in the Championship. Whilst the Spaniard sees something in the side though, it is difficult for us fans to view things in the same light.
It is of course worth remembering that improvements are not necessarily made overnight and Karanka didn`t have much time to make an impact on the squad in the January transfer window. We have to hope that next season will be a bigger indication of where we stand progress wise. Always ‘next season` with us isn`t it?
There is no doubt Forest need long-term stability to build to better fortunes and the fact Karanka sees positive signs following a 2-0 defeat to Fulham is a good thing, as the manager has something to build upon in the coming months and the years ahead, if the owner gives him time that is.
Pantimilon had a 50/50 match
Moving to Nottingham Forest on-loan from Watford for the remainder of the season, the Romanian international had a varied game for his new side and unfortunately the main talking point will be that he should have done better for Fulham`s opening goal.
Whilst that will take the headlines, Pantimilon made a really good save in the first half to deny Oliver Norwood and the experience that the stopper will provide to the defence, we have to hope, will be crucial for the remainder of the season.
If we are being brutally honest, Forest could still be sucked into the relegation battle and Pantilimon is the sort of goalkeeper who could be decisive to stop that happening, as his experience in the top-flight should earn Forest some crucial points between now and the end of the campaign.
Guedioura & Colback will be a decisive partnership
Perhaps the biggest positive from Forest`s defeat was the impressive performances of Adlene Guedioura and Jack Colback, both of whom slotted into the midfield seamlessly and showed they have the ability to build a side around.
Both boasting Premier League experience, and looking for more regular action following their transfers in January, the pairing could become the stand-out duo for Karanka and they will hopefully give us fans something to be excited about as well.
There`s still a lot more to come from them, especially as they are obviously still settling in and finding their feet here. Let`s hope so.