Nottingham Forest have cemented a  place inside the Championship’s top six and could climb back up to third on Wednesday evening.

A standing that would have them two points behind Leeds.

An automatic promotion bid could still be on the cards at the City Ground.

If Sabri Lamouchi’s are to mount such a challenge, then they will do so while flying under the radar.

Plenty continue to write the Reds off.

The message coming out of Trentside will be: Keep on talking us down!

To listen to some would have you believe that Forest have somehow fluked their way to a fifth-placed standing.

Despite 27 games having now been taken in.

Luck can undoubtedly aid any given course in any given season.

It will not, however, carry you through five months!

Forest have enjoyed the odd rub of the green along the way.

Fate has also conspired against them at times.

Points

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

The Reds would be flying even higher had precious points not slipped the net late on against the likes of Millwall, Middlesbrough and Reading.

What would the doubters be saying then?

For the most part, Sabri Lamouchi’s side have been a model of consistency.

They may not have been the most eye-catching outfit in the second tier, but they have found a way of getting the job done.

The table tells that story.

Those who have queried a lofty standing often base their assessments on one 90-minute outing, with rival supporters only getting a glimpse of what the Reds are all about.

The same applies to opposition bosses.

Pundits should know better, with it their job to be across the division, but certain so-called experts appear to take great joy in taking potshots at Forest.

Lamouchi has built up enough armour to fend them off.

A deaf ear will continue to be turned to the detractors.

For those in NG2, positivity is the order of the day.

That is because Forest, while already sat among the frontrunners, can get even better.

Reaction

 

Lamouchi admitted as much on the club’s official website after collecting a 3-1 win over Luton.

He said: “We deserved the three points, but it was not fantastic. The reaction was good but the way we played the first half was not so good. We were much better in the second half, enough to win the game.

“Of course, I am happy with the result to win at home with full support from our fans. For the future and the rest of the season, it was really important but we need to play much better than what we played, especially in the first half.

“I don’t know why we started like this, we suffered a lot and we couldn’t make three passes in a row. Fortunately, we equalised before the break and we started the second half with a different attitude and the commitment was much better than the first half.”

Peaks and troughs has been the story of Forest’s season.

Have they pieced together many complete performances? Not really.

Neither though, Sheffield Wednesday aside, have they allowed collective standards to dip alarmingly.

The Reds have been steady.

The tortoise to Leeds or West Brom’s hare.

And Lamouchi’s men are within sight of the leaders.

Only six defeats have been suffered – with there mitigating circumstances in reversals against the likes of West Brom (mistakes), Wigan (changes) and Cardiff (misfiring) – while only two sides boast a better defensive record.

There have been few fireworks, but they may be saved for May and the receipt of long-overdue recognition.

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