With the 2018/19 now consigned to the record books, Nottingham Forest must look forwards rather than backwards.
As usual at the City Ground, the campaign didn’t go without incident and lots of stories emerged from the rollercoaster ride of a season.
Seat Pitch kicks off a new feature called ‘Stories of the Season’ which will encapsulate the highs and lows of the campaign just gone…
August 2018 – Quiet optimism after Baggies home opener
The 2018/19 season saw the start of a new era for Nottingham Forest as Aitor Karanka looked forward to his first full campaign in charge.
Out went the deadwood and in came a whole host of new players ready to push Forest towards promotion.
Close to £20 million was spent in the transfer window in a bid to finally end the top flight drought.
Joao Carvalho became Forest’s record signing, joining for £13.2 million. Other notable arrivals included Michael Dawson, Lewis Grabban and Jack Robinson – all proven Championship performers.
A trip to Bristol City on the opening day saw Daryl Murphy rescue a point for the Reds, but it was the team’s first City Ground contest which gives us our first story of the season.
Forest took on newly relegated West Bromwich Albion and frankly played them off the park.
The Baggies were second best throughout but Matt Phillips cancelled out Adlene Guedioura’s goal to hand Darren Moore’s team an undeserved share of the spoils.
Forest were excellent. The new players had seemingly clicked and the Reds zipped the ball around with ease. It was a performance that offered hope for the season ahead.
On another night Karanka’s team might have scored more. The overall showing, however, offered hope that the club could give any team in the division a competitive game.
A win over Premier League outfit Newcastle United secured a passage into Round Three of the EFL Cup.
The game had looked like heading to penalties after Salomon Rondon had equalised Murphy’s opening goal.
Last gasp strikes from Matty Cash and Gil Dias ensured Forest’s progression, however.
In the league, Forest remained unbeaten with one win and three draws from their four fixtures.