Nottingham Forest will be wondering how they didn’t put a very poor Bristol City side to the sword as they drew 0-0 at Ashton Gate.

Forest dominated the first half, but couldn’t make their authority tell – although Alex Mighten did hit the post after he cut inside.

Henri Lansbury almost made Forest pay when his free-kick hit the outside of the post, but otherwise Reds stopper Brice Samba had nothing to do.

In the aftermath of what will be a frustrating result for the Reds, here are three things that we learnt…

Forest
BRISTOL, ENGLAND APRIL 10: Filip Krovinovic of Nottingham Forest is put under pressure by Tommy Rowe of Bristol City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate on April 10, 2021 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Lack of clinical edge evident once again

As dominant as Forest were in the first half, it was a familiar story as they didn’t get their rewards for it thanks to poor delivery.

While it’s true Mighten hit the post and was unlucky with a goal bound shot being blocked, the Reds couldn’t register a shot on target.

They were very nearly made to pay for it when former Red Lansbury hit the outside of the post with a free kick.

While so much is falling into place for Forest under Chris Hughton, he will be very aware that his side need to be more ruthless when on top in games.

Forest
BRISTOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 10: Players and officials observe a two minute silence in memory of HRH Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh who passed away recently prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate on April 10, 2021 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

An empty box = no goals

One thing that was evident – and has been all season really – is that when the Reds get into promising positions, there is no-one in the box.

For some reason, Forest players just don’t seem to gamble in the box and when there is an opportunity to be worked, there’s a huge numerical disadvantage.

 

What was notable as well was how Lewis Grabban was barely in the box, which given he’s a striker, is quite a concern.

While it is understandable that as a lone striker, Grabban will have to venture out wide at times, it is alarming how little he is able to get on the ball in key areas.

As such, Mighten and Anthony Knockaert were constantly trying to cut in and shoot, which became very predictable.

Unless there are players available in the box – as there were when Forest scored against Cardiff City – it’s difficult to see how the Reds score goals given the way they play.

Forest
BRISTOL, ENGLAND – APRIL 10: Danny Simpson of Bristol City running with the ball as James Garner of Nottingham Forest is fouled during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Nottingham Forest at Ashton Gate on April 10, 2021 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Lyle Taylor deserves a start

As has become the norm with 15/20 to play, Taylor was brought on and within seconds, he’d done more than Grabban had in the second half.

His link up play looked good, however it was clear that he was maybe lacking sharpness when he was sent through, but shot over.

A more confident and sharp Taylor probably takes another touch and changes his angle slightly, but it wasn’t to be.

In any case, Taylor has probably earned a start and it would be good to see him get a fair crack of the whip in the remaining few fixtures.

Was this an opportunity missed for Nottingham Forest?

Have something to tell us about this article?