Nottingham Forest will be looking for a festive pick-me-up against Norwich City, but there has not been much post-Christmas cheer for the Reds in recent years.

Having collected just one point from the nine on offer immediately prior to turkey day, Aitor Karanka’s side need to rediscover their spark.

Unfortunately, recent history dictates that Boxing Day is not a favoured entry on the calendar.

You have to turn the clock back five years to find the last time Forest prevailed on December 26th.


(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

December 27th can even be thrown into that mix, with the Reds having faced Leeds on that day some three years back.

They were held to a 1-1 draw on that occasion, and that is about as good as things have got.

In 2014, Middlesbrough handed out a heavy 3-0 defeat, with Forest falling by the same scoreline to Sheffield Wednesday 12 months ago.

In between, and a year after playing out a stalemate with Leeds, Huddersfield claimed a 2-1 win en route to securing promotion in 2016-17.

The last side the Reds managed to see off as the Christmas decorations prepared to be pulled were Queens Park Rangers.

That was no surprise at the time, given QPR’s wretched record at the City Ground, but unfortunate history was made against that opposition last time out.

Picking his side up from a disappointing 1-0 reversal on home soil is the challenge now facing Karanka – who has questioned the attitude of those at his disposal.


Forest will not be able to carry any passengers during a visit to Carrow Road, so everybody needs to be pulling in the same direction.

Norwich have shown themselves to be serious contenders for the Championship title this season and will be no easy nut to crack.

Any kind of positive result would be a step in the right direction for the Reds, but a morale-boosting triumph similar to that enjoyed on the road at Middlesbrough is really what is required.

Boxing Day may not have provided the fondest of memories for Forest of late, but if a knockout blow can be landed on the Canaries then a not all that Merry Christmas could turn into a Happy New Year.

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