As Hull City breached the Nottingham Forest backline on two occasions, the City Ground natives could have been forgiven for experiencing a sense of déjà vu.

Ball down the channels leads to it ending up in the back of the net.

Sounds familiar, right?

The last four goals conceded by the Reds have followed what is becoming an all too familiar trend.

Sabri Lamouchi’s side have, on the whole, been solid enough in 2019-20.

The Frenchman has sought to build on foundations laid at the back.

Only two sides in the Championship – even with back-to-back defeats taken into account – boast a better defensive record than Forest this season.

Across 13 games, the Reds have been breached just 12 times.

A fault has, however, presented itself.

A chink in the armour which needs to be addressed before it becomes a gaping hole.


(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lamouchi is shrewd enough to spot such flaws.

He will be asking questions and seeking solutions.

To be left exposed in what is a fairly routine route to goal on one occasion is unfortunate, maybe even twice.

Four times hints at a problem in need of solving.

Blackburn, Wigan and Hull have all hit Forest where it hurts.

Lamouchi said in the Nottingham Post after a 2-1 defeat to the Tigers: “They came here to play on the counterattack, to play very fast and very quickly, with two very good wingers in Bowen and Grosicki.

“After the first goal it was not easy, and with the second one it was more difficult.”

Forest are, at times, being exposed in the wide areas Bowen and Grosicki operated in on Wednesday.

On the left, Jack Robinson appears to have picked up an unwelcome knack of being out of position.

Lamouchi’s system calls for the back four to tighten when under attack.

That does, however, leave gaps for opponents to exploit.

One chip down the channels, or a flick into said space, and the Reds find themselves in the firing line.


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Brice Samba has shown himself to be a more than competent goalkeeper, but he is no miracle worker.

If opponents are allowed to get within touching distance of the Congolese custodian, then what chance does he have of keeping them out?

Adam Armstrong, Jamal Lowe, Josh Magennis and Jarrod Bowen have all converted past him from close range.

They have either been fed from those out wide or, as in Armstrong’s case, got into those positions themselves without being properly tracked.

“We just need to find the right way and put the best team for Saturday; come back with the right attitude and the right mentality to try to stop this bad moment,” Lamouchi has added in the Post.

“We need to find the solution quickly, and quickly is Saturday.”

He’s not wrong.

Reading roll into town at the weekend for a game which is now of greater importance to Forest than many would have expected it to be coming off the last international break.

More creativity is required against the Royals, and a return to being watertight at the back.

The enforced absences of Michael Dawson and Samba Sow are doing the cause few favours, but now is not a time to look for excuses – it is one for answers.

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