Nottingham Forest spent heavily during the summer transfer window, with boss Aitor Karanka keen to revive the club’s fortunes.

The Reds have toiled for several years, but this season feels different; there is a real sense that something special is bubbling underneath the surface.

There is a sign of togetherness around the City Ground now and that has clearly been lacking in recent years. Karanka will know that this trait must remain if his team are to become serious promotion contenders.

(Photo by Rachel Holborn – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the Reds so far this season has been the desire to keep the ball out of the opposition net.

The seven clean sheets kept so far this season is already over halfway towards last season’s total of 13; whilst it is only one short of the eight kept during 2016/17 when Forest were nearly relegated.

Four of those clean sheets this term have come in the last month when a settled back four has operated in front of Costel Pantilimon.

Tendayi Darikwa and Jack Robinson have improved with each game in the full-back positions; whilst Michael Dawson and Tobias Figueiredo have developed a telepathic understanding in central defence.

(Photo by Rachel Holborn – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Successful teams need to build from the back and Karanka has clearly identified it as an area where Forest need to improve.

The football might not always be the most attractive; although a more reserved approach certainly makes a change from the soft underbelly that the Reds have held in previous years.

Back-to-back shutouts prior to the international break against Sheffield United and Stoke City have offered Forest hope. Early season optimism has now been quickly replaced with the genuine belief that the Reds can do things in 2018/19.

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