Swansea City are due to pay a visit to the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

The Welsh outfit will find themselves on the banks of the Trent taking in a competitive fixture for the first time in almost eight years.

That is because they have spent that vast majority of that period rubbing shoulders with the Premier League elite.

Such a standing could have been Nottingham Forest’s.

Back in May 2011, the Reds stood on the brink.

On one side lay the top-flight Promised Land, and on the other an extended stay in the second tier.

They toppled the wrong way!

Billy Davies, though, came as close as anyone to delivering on a remit that has proved too much for so many.

Play-off berths were secured in back-to-back seasons under the Scot.

It was the second of those which brought Swansea to Nottingham.

Frustrating

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

In what has since proved to be the Reds’ last dalliance with promotion.

Since then there has been another period of frustrating regression.

Of relegation battles, mid-table obscurity and the Al Hasawi regime.

Fifteen different coaches have taken up residence in the dugout, be that on a permanent or caretaker basis, with Davies even returning for a second shot at getting the job done.

It has been a long, and often bumpy road for the Reds from that point.

There are, however, indications that a corner has been turned.

Forest are back in the hunt for a top-six finish, despite sitting off the pace, and that is cause for optimism.

Stability has been established off the field, with Evangelos Marinakis making all of the right noises.

Funds have been made available for welcome additions, while exciting redevelopment plans lie in store for Forest’s famous home.

It may have taken eight years to get to this point, but better late than never.

Foundations

 

Foundations are being laid on which to build a brighter future.

That was the hope the last time Swansea rolled into town.

Back then, the Forest team sheet read: Camp, Moloney, Chambers, Morgan, Gunter, Anderson, McKenna, McGugan, Cohen, Earnshaw, Boyd.

Of that XI, how many would get into the side likely to line up on Saturday?

Four? Five? Six, at a push?

And that team was good enough to get within three games of the Premier League.

More than anything, that highlights how competitive the Championship has become.

It also proves what can be achieved with the right blend of experience, youth and home-grown talent.

Such as that boasted within the current squad.

Forest may have regressed since they last played host to Swansea, but there are also signs of recovery.

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