18 games into the season and Nottingham Forest already find themselves in the lofty position of fourth in the Championship.
Sabri Lamouchi’s men have churned out a combination of good performances and results that show far the Reds have come since Evangelos Marinakis took control of the club in 2017.
It’s always a scary prospect to consider where the Reds might be now if they hadn’t beaten Ipswich Town at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
Since then, the Reds have gradually improved in terms of league position. It’s certainly been a rollercoaster journey. Aitor Karanka replaced Mark Warburton in the 2017/18 campaign to guide the Reds to a 17th-placed finish.
Last season the Reds managed to finish ninth in the Championship. But it felt like one of the most disappointing campaigns for years. Karanka had the Reds challenging this time last year, before everything fell apart under Martin O’Neill.
There was always an inevitability with these seasons that the Reds would eventually get it right. Lamouchi has brought in a level of consistency and game management that a lot of supporters are unfamiliar with.
Reflecting on last season under Karanka – there were some phenomenal performances against the top teams but the Reds had a habit of letting leads slip in dramatic style and struggled against sides below them.
In 2017/18, Warburton had them playing some superb football which was thoroughly entertaining. However, the Reds had a poor record at conceding goals, and this was eventually exposed on too many occasions.
Under Lamouchi, there aren’t these topsy-turvy scorelines. You can easily predict what the line-up will be and you know that they’ll give the opposition a tough game.
The Reds haven’t been battered against any side this season. Defeats such as Saturday’s against Cardiff are now just seen as a ‘bad day at the office’ rather than the start of a potential slump.
There’s no doubt that Lamouchi will attract interest from the Premier League if the Reds continue as they are this season. It wasn’t a surprise to read that Wolverhampton Wanderers would make him a ‘top target’ if they ever lose Nuno Espírito Santo.
It’s easy to see why the club are being cautious given how things have capitulated in the past. However, things feel different under Lamouchi.
Give him the budget he needs to make minor adjustments upfront in January, and the squad is ready to push this season.
This is a massive opportunity for the club who haven’t competed at the top of the division in years.