Picking faults in Nottingham Forest’s opening to the 2019-20 campaign should not be considered a bad thing.
There should be a drive towards continuous improvement from all concerned.
Let’s revel in the positives, but also acknowledge the negatives.
And then do something about them.
To have hit top spot, albeit briefly, highlights how quickly things are moving in the right direction.
With scope to get even better.
Forest have yet to hit top gear – the vast majority would concede as much.
The hope is that there are still a few to move through!
The early exchanges have been a case of manoeuvring carefully through narrow streets in search of an open highway in which to slip into cruise control.
If the Reds are to get there – and more importantly stay there – then they need to kick on again.
There can be no resting on collective laurels.
Sabri Lamouchi will not allow that to happen.
He told the club’s official website after witnessing a battling 3-2 win at Stoke: “We know we must play much better than we did tonight but at least we know this.
“I told the boys at half-time that it was important that we started to play our football in our rhythm, the way we know we can. We gave Stoke too much time and too much space in the first half and when you do that in the Championship, you know you will get hurt.”
That has been a theme at times for Forest.
Slow starts have been an issue, while ball retention – or lack of – remains a source of some frustration.
If the Reds are to play their way towards a top-six finish, then they need to keep possession better.
Their numbers are not dreadful, but neither are they particularly impressive.
Overall passing accuracy stands at 74.04%, enough for a 14th-placed standing in that particular second tier chart.
Now, there are probably several culprits that spring to mind when raising this issue.
Among them is summer signing Tiago Silva.
The Portuguese is a fine player, but his adjustment to life in England has not been as seamless as it could have been.
At times he can try too much, take too long or be too lightweight.
Operating in the middle of the park brings his failings into sharper focus than others and he becomes an easy target – while acknowledging that there is clearly room for improvement.
Silva’s passing numbers, in terms of accuracy, are better, though, than the likes of Joe Lolley, Michael Dawson, Lewis Grabban, Sammy Ameobi, Matty Cash and Alfa Semedo.
He has frustrated at times, but an inability to keep the ball has been contagious.
That was the case against Stoke, with there periods of the game in which passes were either under hit, misplaced or fired in the direction of those immediately played into trouble.
The good news is, of course, that Forest have been firing in spite of these issues.
Start righting a few wrongs and the potential is there to become even better.
A Silva lining can be found!
Which is an exciting prospect.