Expectations are always high at Nottingham Forest, but a bright start to the 2019-20 campaign turned that up another notch.

And rightly so.

Any side that hits top spot – albeit for a matter of hours – and positions themselves among the frontrunners should be looking upwards, rather than over their shoulder.

That compact nature of the Championship means that the odd glance is still being made.

Sights are, however, being set higher than they have been for some time.

Sabri Lamouchi has allowed a fan base starved of success to dream once more.

It has not always been pretty, but a backbone which has often been questioned is showing signs of strength.

These Reds are not spineless.

Another example of that was offered during a trip to rain-soaked Luton on Saturday.

Vulnerable

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Such trips have proved treacherous in the past, with Forest at their most vulnerable when expected to go well.

Life sailing under the radar has been favoured.

That is not, and should no longer be, the case.

Lamouchi has been eager to hammer that point home.

Back-to-back defeats prior to heading for Kenilworth Road saw uncomfortable questions asked for the first time this season.

Forest, and in particular a number of senior players, needed to step up and show that they have the stomach for the fight.

Lamouchi said in the Nottingham Post on the back of a 2-1 win: “After the loss at Wigan and at home to Hull, I saw they (the players) were a little bit worried, but I said to them, ‘it’s your fault, guys, because you started very well in the league, so the fans trust in you’.”

If fault is to be dished out on Trentside, then this is the best possible kind.

If you want to be blamed for something, then make sure the subject matter is positive.

It is an important message to get across.

Ambitious

 

Those charged with delivering results on the field have to be as ambitious and committed as those calling the shots off it.

And those living and breathing every moment in the stands.

There is nothing to suggest that pressure is being felt.

Defeats, even in games where more is expected, will happen and the success or failure of the current campaign will be determined by the response offered to moments of adversity.

The best possible one was delivered at Luton.

With Derby next on the agenda.

Forest will head into that contest with confidence flowing again and the opportunity, in a lunchtime kick-off, to pull back alongside the top-two hopefuls.

If such a situation is not to be embraced, then football is not the game for you.

This is everyone’s fault, we all want the same thing and will happily take responsibility for setting lofty targets that have us longing for the marvellous rather than the mediocre.

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