Nottingham Forest do not need to turn the clock bar far to find inspiration when it comes to mounting a Championship promotion push.

The Reds have endured a largely forgettable end to the calendar year, with 2018 rather fizzling out.

Aitor Karanka has come under pressure as a result, with unnecessary questions being asked of a manager still looking to deliver on his remit.

The Spaniard knows how to get to out of the second tier and has always talked up the bigger picture at the City Ground.

Whether he gets the chance to complete that masterpiece remains to be seen.

There is, however, still every chance that he can force the Reds into the top six and secure a ticket for the play-off lottery.

Main aim

It will take some doing from 10th spot, but there is only a six-point gap to be bridged across 21 games.

Danny Fox is among those to have been making the right noises on the back of a recent wobble, saying in the Nottingham Post: “We believe we can still get ourselves up there, of course.

“The main aim is promotion. We want to take this club back to where it belongs,

“Our aim is still to win promotion; to go up. But if we do not start performing, then we will be nowhere near it, to be honest.”

That is a fair reflection from a seasoned campaigner.

Forest have only scored three goals in their last five games, and all of those came in the dramatic draw at Norwich.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Just two points have been taken from the aforementioned encounters and clearly a spark is required from somewhere.

Fox has added: “For a team that wants to win promotion, you have to win four, five, six, seven or eight games on the bounce. We have not done that.

“We need to start doing that as soon as possible, because before we know it, there will be another season gone.”

That is some challenge being laid down to Forest.

The Reds have only won back-to-back fixtures in the league on one occasion so far this season – back in September.

Recent history, though, dictates that things can change dramatically from this point.

Build momentum

Just 12 months ago, Fulham found themselves in almost exactly the same position as Forest.

After 25 games in 2017/18 the Cottagers sat 11th and few were giving them much of a shot at promotion.

They were, unlike Forest, able to build some momentum heading towards the end of the calendar year, but it was after January 1 that they really kicked on.

As Fox is now demanding from the Reds, Fulham opened the New Year with five straight wins and eventually stretched an unbeaten run to 23 games – emerging victorious in 18 of those outings – and carried a feel-good factor all the way to Wembley and ultimately the Premier League.

The Reds do not need to match those efforts, but they may need to get close.

Fulham opened 2018 on home soil and started a surge towards the finishing post, it is now up to Karanka and Co to do likewise when Leeds pay a visit to the City Ground on Tuesday.

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