Nottingham Forest’s performance against Charlton on Tuesday evening slots seamlessly into the ‘bang average’ category.

And that is being kind!

The Reds were, in all honestly, woeful.

They know as much, with Joe Lolley having come out on social media and conceded that no excuses can be offered for such a dramatic dip in standards.

An odd blip can be forgiven.

Forest have been consistently inconsistent for longer than many of us care to remember.

Said trend has been bucked in 2019-20.

To the point that a return to the big time remains a realistic prospect.

There cannot, however, be too many more bumps in the road.

Fourteen games are now all that separates the Reds from a shot at promotion or another season of treading water.

Tinkering

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

It appears as though tried and tested are going to have to lead the charge.

Tinkering against Charlton highlighted as much.

January was not as productive off the field for the Reds as it was on it.

Sabri Lamouchi’s side opened the New Year unbeaten – landing the man calling the shots another Manager of the Month award.

With expectations high, a window of opportunity swung open.

Any missing pieces of the puzzle were up for grabs.

Forest drafted in Nuno Da Costa, Adama Diakhaby and Gaetan Bong while recalling Tyler Walker from a loan spell at Lincoln.

All four figured against the Addicks on Tuesday.

All rather fluffed their lines.

To be fair to Da Costa he was only given 20 minutes, while Walker spent much of the night feeding off scraps.

Concerns have been raised though.

Quality

 

Did Forest merely end January with more bodies on board?

Has the level of collective quality been raised?

The intention may always have been for the likes of Bong and Diakhaby to be squad players – options to be used off the bench.

Forest have fared admirably when sticking with a favoured core group this season.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it etc.

The hope was, though, that extra inspiration could have been found from somewhere.

Walker has shown away from the City Ground that he can be a more than useful alternative to 16-goal top marksman Grabban.

The others?

The jury remains very much out.

A window which should have been clambered through and bolted from the inside is already looking a little rusty and a potential security threat to those on Trentside.

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