Nottingham Forest ended November with another defeat after losing 1-0 to Swansea City on Sunday afternoon.
Chris Hughton’s side came into this one on the back of two successive away defeats after the international break, and they were unable to ignite a response at the weekend.
After what was a largely positive first-half display, the Reds were the creators of their downfall on the stroke of half-time.
Warburton? Karanka? Who was the Nottingham Forest manager when each of these 15 Forest moments happened?
Andre Ayew’s cross was clipped to the back post, helped on its way by Scott McKenna’s flick-on, and there was Connor Roberts to leap over Sammy Ameobi and nod in.
Forest were unable to respond, and in the end, Swansea managed to hold onto an invaluable win which sees them return to fourth position.
Here, we take a look at three things we clearly learnt about Forest, with the Reds sitting two points above the relegation zone in 21st…
Fragile mentality proves costly again
Forest were well on top for large parts of the opening 45 minutes, and they looked the better side heading into the interval.
They started on the front-foot, with Ameobi bursting into the area and finding Lyle Taylor, who flicked just wide.
Anthony Knockaert then had a golden chance to break the deadlock on 40 minutes, with the winger firing straight at Freddie Woodman after cutting in from the right-hand side and finding himself in a dangerous position.
But one lapse of concentration cost Forest, and once again, they failed to recover. The notion is that the worst time to concede is right before the interval, and this looked to be the case here, not for the first time.
In the second-half, Forest lacked confidence going forward. They failed to find a rhythm and create any clear-cut chances.
We saw this against Barnsley and Bournemouth. After going a goal down, they look dead and buried and short of any creative ideas.
Tobias Figueiredo needs a rest
Figueiredo has been a regular for Forest this season, making 13 appearances with 10 of those coming under Hughton. He has been an ever-present under the 61-year-old alongside Scott McKenna.
Figueiredo’s performances have flattered to deceive of late, though. The Portuguese defender switched off against Bournemouth, and allowed Junior Stanislas to run through on goal and open the scoring after three minutes.
In the build-up to Swansea’s goal at the weekend, he was guilty of gifting their opponents a throw-in, despite a simple pass down the line available.
The defender could have also gifted Swansea a second goal on the afternoon. He failed to track Marc Guehi’s run from a corner in the second-half, and the Chelsea loanee saw his effort deflected wide.
In the summer, it was reported that Figueiredo had personal issues and wanted to move back to Portugal for non-football related reasons.
Of course, it’s unknown whether there’s a reason behind his poor displays of late, but he looks jaded and could definitely do with a rest.
With Joe Worrall closing in on a return from injury, and Loic Mbe Soh also waiting in the wings, a switch-up at the back could be needed.
Further additions not necessarily the solution
Forest are in real danger of falling further down the table and limping their way towards January.
They sit only two points clear of the relegation zone, and in their next three games, they face Watford, Reading and Norwich City.
After the game, Hughton confirmed that he will look to strengthen his squad in January, with others set to leave whether that be on loan or permanently.
After signing 14 new players in what was a hectic summer transfer window, this shows that wholesale changes isn’t always a good thing.
Forest already have over 30 players on the books, and they are in desperate need of cleansing the dressing room and trimming the squad.
The truth is, there isn’t really a specific area of the squad which you feel needs adding to, given the staggering amount of depth they have in every position of the pitch.
New arrivals will go some way in freshening things up, but with some of those new players still trying to settle in, a haphazard January may not be the answer.