Nottingham Forest were brought back down to Earth as a poor performance got what it deserved in a 2-0 home defeat to Huddersfield Town.
The Reds started brightly and Filip Krovinovic came close as he slalomed through a few challenges before forcing a good stop from Ryan Schofield.
However, a rare James Garner howler allowed Aaron Rowe to run through one-on-one and he didn’t miss.
Juninho Bacuna doubled the lead for Huddersfield after some shocking Forest defending allowed him to get a shot away, which Brice Samba will be aggrieved not to have done better with.
In the aftermath of a disappointing home showing, here are three things that we learnt…
Individual errors haunt Reds again
The manner of the first goal was such a shock as it was about the first thing James Garner has done wrong since his loan from Manchester United.
The midfielder played a pass behind Scott McKenna and this allowed Rowe to latch onto it and fire past Samba.
It seemed Forest weren’t quite done with making mistakes of such nature, as when Anthony Knockaert’s cross was blocked, the Reds fell apart.
Huddersfield were allowed to run through pretty much unchallenged and when Bacuna got his shot away, Samba seemed to dive out the way of it.
Once again, Forest have been the architects of their own downfall and it must be frustrating beyond words for Chris Hughton to see his side disintegrate like this.
Lack of ruthlessness telling again
One thing that Forest need to work on in the summer is that killer touch, as once again the Reds let the opposition off the hook.
For the first 20 minutes, Forest started as well as they have all season, but couldn’t quite find a way to make their dominance count.
They were predictably made to pay for that, but had a good chance to level the scores when Alex Mighten found Ryan Yates, but his header went off target.
Not long after, Huddersfield grabbed their second of the day.
The creativity aspect – as we know – certainly needs addressing, but Forest won’t go anywhere unless they make their pressure count.
Awful result, but perspective needed
There are very few positives to take from this result, given how bad the performance was and how poor Huddersfield are as a side.
Understandably, questions have been asked about Forest’s credentials after not putting away a relegation battler at home.
For some as well, it has also highlighted that Forest still aren’t quite mathematically safe yet, although relegation does seem very unlikely.
However, there is an element of perspective that is needed.
Forest’s last four games have been Brentford away, Cardiff City away, Queens Park Rangers at home and now Huddersfield at home.
Most fans would’ve taken a seven point return from those four games given that Brentford are vying for second, Cardiff were pushing for play-offs, QPR were on top form and Huddersfield are fighting for their lives.
They probably wouldn’t have envisaged the loss coming to Huddersfield, but that’s the Championship – one bad day and you will be punished, irrespective of opposition.
It is an awful result, but it’s not necessarily indicative as to where Forest are as a side and you would fancy Hughton to fire them up to bounce back quickly.
Throw in the fact some players are literally playing for their future and have just four games to prove their worth, you’d be surprised if Forest followed this up with another poor display.
Are Nottingham Forest back in a relegation battle following this loss to Huddersfield Town?