Nottingham Forest have one more game to take in before hitting the next international break.

Admittedly, it is a big one!

Derby are due at the City Ground on Saturday for what promises to be an intriguing tussle between two old adversaries.

Forest, given the contrasting fortunes of the two clubs so far this season, should be in confident mood.

Sabri Lamouchi does not have a full complement of players at his disposal, but that has been the case for some time now.

The Reds have found a way of making do.

Which is one of the benefits to be found in having a rather sizeable squad.

Injuries and suspensions are inevitable, but there is always somebody on hand to step in.

The likes of Chema, Tobias Figueiredo and Ryan Yates have done just that over recent weeks.

Matty Cash, meanwhile, has been starring at right-back in the enforced absence of Carl Jenkinson.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Lamouchi has shuffled the pack as he sees fit and still been able to generate positive results.

The hope is that a few more of the walking wounded will soon be back in contention.

Derby day may yet deliver a welcome return to the ranks for some.

It is, though, beneficial for the Reds to have another shutdown in domestic action approaching.

International windows are rarely looked upon favourably, but this one could be timely.

Especially if Forest can head into it on the back of a morale-boosting victory over the Rams.

Two weeks to wallow in local bragging rights – sign us up.

The obvious flip side to that coin does not bear thinking about!

Any kind of positive result on Saturday will keep the feel-good factor flowing and the Reds right in the mix for a top-six finish.

They will also get the chance to rest a few tired bodies and minds.



Given that Michael Dawson, Alfa Semedo, Samba Sow et all have been nursing knocks, recuperation may be no bad thing.

Reds legend Garry Birtles has said in the Nottingham Post: “The break this time will come at a good time for Forest, I think, even with losing the Reading game to the weather.

“There are a few players out injured which will make good progress in the next couple of weeks, and with a busy Christmas period around the corner, the extra time to relax and work on the training ground, I think, will be a good thing.”

He’s not wrong.

To the point that Forest’s cause could actually be boosted by a period in which they take in no competitive action.

Lamouchi’s squad should be stronger by the time they head to Bristol City on November 23 despite having no more points on the board.

By then, the likes of Dawson and Semedo will – fingers crossed – be back up to full speed, with it yet to be determined what the outlook is for Sow.

Others will also be raring to go heading into the hectic festive period.

Lewis Grabban, Joe Worrall and Ben Watson have seen a lot of football so far, with Brice Samba, Joe Lolley, Cash and Sammy Ameobi also getting the chance to wind down and recharge.

The games will come thick and fast once a return to action is made – nine through to the end of the calendar year and another on January 1 – but Forest can put themselves in a better position to face those challenges while putting their feet up and forgetting about a promotion bid for a bit.

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