Counter-attacking Forest have rediscovered form

Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio

After back-to-back wins, things are looking a lot brighter for Nottingham Forest than they did at the beginning of November. They beat Wolves 3-0 on Saturday, with 2nd half goals coming from Britt Assombalonga, Matty Fryatt and Henri Lansbury. Stuart Pearce’s side won that match whilst having less possession than their opponents, and this seems to be a recurring theme.

With Britt Assombalonga, Michail Antonio and now Tom Ince, not many Championship teams have more pace in attack than Nottingham Forest. Therefore, Pearce has been quite clever in the way he has set his team up. He has played 2 sitting midfielders – the players of choice often changing since the injuries to Chris Cohen and Andy Reid – allowing the opponents to have spells of possession. This leads to a congestion of the midfield area, meaning the opposing full-backs are lured forward to provide width. Forest have then been able to score some of their goals by playing early balls to the flanks, which the pace of a winger like Michail Antonio can exploit. Although Tom Ince has not played particularly well for Forest thus far, he has undoubted quality, and could begin to thrive in a high-tempo, counter-attacking system.

Nottingham Forest had gone 2 months without a win. However, the resilient manner of their win over Norwich, and the impressive way in which they beat Wolves, suggests that the players are still determined to play for Stuart Pearce. Having seemingly come through the difficult period, they are now just 4 points off the top 2, and could be a force to be reckoned with in the promotion race.