Well October kind of snuck up on us there didn’t it!
The unbeaten run from game 2 in the league remains intact, we bowed (not so) gracefully out of the Carabao Cup and on the whole began to get a genuine sense that there was a plan and that it was slowly but surely coming together.
Sabri Lamouchi, Brice Samba, Alfa Semedo…. Just a few names who were new to us only a few months ago but who have quickly become cult figures amongst us fans. Joe Worrall, Lewis Grabban, even the ginger Pirlo himself Ben Watson have impressed in their own ways. It’s probably Ok right now to feel a little bit positive about the way things are going on the pitch.
So what does October bring with it. Well, due to my own tardiness on getting his preview out in time, we already know how October 1st and October 5th went. Blackburn away (always a tricky place to go) saw a tired looking and almost lethargic Forest team scrape through to a 1-1 draw on the back of a worldie from Joe Lolley. The unbeaten run was preserved and damage limitation was completed. Saturday saw a more consistent performance against an always tough Brentford side who (as with every Brentford side for the last 250 years) are very comfortable on the ball and press very well.
And so another international break is upon us allowing Sabri some time on the training ground to fine tune the machine. Possibly the most interesting aspect of the whole season so far is that with a couple of exceptions, it doesn’t feel like we’ve really gotten into our stride yet. Sure, Fulham and Swansea set high watermarks for away performances and our Carabao Cup demolition of the sheep set a good tone for home matches but overall, it feels like there’s still a lot more to see from this group of players and this manager.
What remains of October brings with it 3 fixtures, the first being an away trip to Wigan Athletic on a Sunday afternoon. At least 3,000 Forest fans will be in play backing the team and based on both our recent away form and our new found ability not to underperform against teams in the lower half of the table, it would be foolish not to be a little optimistic that Forest can get something from the DW Stadium. Expect it to be a tight game, these type of matches usually are but we have started to show more resilience at the back coupled with being considerably more efficient up front.
Following on from Wigan we face Hull City at the City Ground on the following Wednesday night. Hull seem to be one of our many bogey sides at home. Harking back to a then fit Matty Fryatt scoring the only goal of the game back in 2011 to put an end to Billy Davies long standing (36 game) unbeaten run at home. Admittedly last seasons 3-0 hammering looked good on paper but it wasn’t until King Carvalho smashed one in from outside the box (on his birthday of all days) to break the deadlock 72 minutes in that things really opened up. Games against Hull are usually quite tight and you can almost guarantee a sold out away end making a ton of noise. Even if its that stupid “You’re getting mauled by the Tigers” song. All said, you’d back us at home against a team in the bottom half so like Wigan, it would be wrong not to go in expecting all 3 points.
Speaking of sold out away ends at the City Ground, it’s probably not wide to expect Reading to add to that list in our final fixture of the month. As before, another team currently low on confidence and form, Reading should on paper also present a solid opportunity for 3 points. The house that Gunter built are currently sat in the bottom 3 but after the sacking of Jose Gomes will be expecting an upturn in fortune from their new manager bounce.
Speaking of bounces…. All 3 of Forest’s opponents are currently sat below our neighbors to the west so using that as a barometer we should be walking (not driving) out of October with 9 comfortable points in the bag. Book the open top bus lads, its time to start getting carried away right?