Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi has made an exceptional start to life at the City Ground since replacing Martin O’Neill as manager in the summer.

However, the Reds have recently lost back-to-back games against Wigan Athletic and Hull City. Lamouchi’s managerial credentials are now set to be significantly tested for the first time.

Former Crewe Alexandra, Norwich City, West Ham United, and ex-England striker Dean Ashton believes that the Reds are still strong contenders for promotion to the Premier League. Ashton was reflecting on the Championship games yesterday on Sky Sports.

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The Reds have previously made a good start to the season and tailed off around this time of year. Aitor Karanka led the Reds into the play-offs heading into December last season, but things quickly unravelled when he departed the club and was replaced by Martin O’Neill.

Lamouchi will be hoping that this is just a blip and that his side can prevent it from becoming a rut. That’s something that the Reds have made a habit of doing in previous years.

The Reds were unable to bounce back from their defeat against Wigan. They were defeated 2-1 by Hull City at the City Ground. It wasn’t a good performance from Lamouchi’s side who again struggled to create many clear chances.

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There’s no doubt that this is the best chance the Reds have had of challenging for promotion to the Premier League for a long time. There aren’t any standout out teams in the Championship this season. It’s all to play for and there will be numerous sides who fancy their chances.

It wasn’t long ago that Lamouchi’s start to life on Trentside had even sparked some concern among some supporters that he could be picked up by a Premier League club.

Speaking about the Reds on Sky Sports, Ashton said: “They’re difficult to beat and don’t concede many goals, but suddenly you lose to Wigan and Hull.

“It makes no sense whatsoever, but that’s the Championship. You’ve got to be able to dust that off and forget about it quickly.

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“It wouldn’t surprise me if they won at the weekend and went on another little run. It’s just how difficult that league is.”

Ashton’s positive comments on the Reds should give supporters hope that the Reds can still have a good season. It’s still only two defeats, and there’s plenty of time to turn things around.

In truth, it’s going to be difficult for any side to maintain a lengthy unbeaten run this season.

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