Nottingham Forest have lost five and drawn one of their six games since the international break, scoring once during those fixtures.

The recent weeks have seen some serious flaws emerge in the Forest team and Chris Hughton has plenty of work to do.

Here is a look at six problems the Reds boss needs to solve to get Forest climbing higher in the Championship.

On your marks

It’s hard to remember the last time Forest took a game to the opposition right from the off.

With the quality that is on offer at the City Ground, there is no reason why Forest shouldn’t be having a go at opposing teams in every game.

Too often, the Reds let the opening exchanges go by without landing a blow on the other team – and more often than not find themselves behind.

Forest have to begin games in better fashion and quickly gain a foothold, giving themselves a better foundation to build upon.

Nottingham Forest v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Goalkeeper

We at Nottingham Forest News have defended Brice Samba since he arrived at the club in the summer of August 2019.

We still don’t believe that good goalkeepers become bad ones overnight and some of the defenders need to have a look at themselves too.

Of late though, Samba has been in poor form by his relatively high standards.

At Reading his poor aerial claim led to the opening goal and last night he allowed Jacob Sorensen’s shot to squirm under him.

Jordan Smith hasn’t overly convinced in the past and Abdoulaye Diallo has rarely been seen since signing.

Samba either needs to buck his ideas up or Hughton might be forced into the January sales.

Nottingham Forest v Derby County - Carabao Cup Second Round
(Photo; James Williamson; AMA; Getty Images)

Defensive errors

Where to begin with this one?

Forest are making far too many comical errors at crucial times.

Yuri Ribeiro, so often reliable headed back into his own box last night with the half practically over.

He isn’t the only guilty party, with each defender this season a perpetrator of some naive defending.

Quite simply, the Reds have got to roll their sleeves up defensively and start keeping clean sheets.

Nottingham Forest v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

No right-footers

Has there ever been such an unbalanced Nottingham Forest squad.

 

Joe Lolley, Sammy Ameobi, Anthony Knockaert, Jack Colback and Harry Artet all favour their left peg.

There is no balance with Forest’s attacking options and the lop-sided nature is making the Reds easy to defend against.

If Forest are going to pursue another forward option in the January window a mandatory requirement should be him being right-footed.

Norwich City v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
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Harry Arter

Getting a tune out of the midfielder looks like something that Hughton needs to address.

Since checking in from Bournemouth he has either been injured or looked woefully off the pace.

The 30-year-old was excellent for Fulham last season when operating alongside a young, lung-busting player like Harrison Reed.

If Forest can sign a natural No.8 there could be a role for Arter in Hughton’s team.

The conundrum will be getting the very best out of him.

Notts Forest v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Creativity

A big one for Hughton to crack is the frequency in which Forest create good goalscoring opportunities.

Going forward everything seems like hard work and the manager must find a way to link defence with attack far easier.

Whether that is going out and signing a midfielder or whether Hughton can get something to click with the current crop remains to be seen.

With Forest boasting a plethora of defence-minded midfielders, however, the latter of those two options seems unlikely.

Norwich City v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Stephen Pond; Getty Images)

Brennan Johnson

The form of the Forest owned performer will undoubtedly be playing in the mind of the Reds boss.

Johnson is in fine form on loan at Lincoln City and a decision needs to be made on whether he sees the season out in League One.

The beauty of the academy graduate is that he provides Forest with the type of player they don’t current have.

He can play in a number of positions and has the energy that could help Forest get up the pitch quicker.

If there is a place for him in the team he should come back, if not he should be allowed to see the season out playing regularly for Lincoln.

With Forest continuing to struggle, recalling him looks like a no-brainer.

Lincoln City v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One
(Photo; Chris Vaughan; CameraSport; Getty Images)
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