Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton has suggested that it has been difficult to deal with the pressure coming from supporters so far this season, but he also understands he needs to do more to get them onside.
The Reds have endured a very difficult period at the start of the Championship campaign with them having lost all four of their opening league games.
Hughton’s side did manage to prevent themselves from falling to a fifth straight defeat by coming from behind to earn a point late on in their trip to rivals Derby County last time out.
Brennan Johnson’s goal late on at Derby needs to now be the turning point in Nottingham Forest’s season with them finally getting a point on the board in the Championship.
Forest face Cardiff City on Sunday knowing that they will need to secure all three points to lift the pressure around the City Ground and give them the platform to kick on in the rest of the campaign.
That will not be easy with supporters beginning to turn on Hughton and the pressure being piled on him to turn things around.
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Speaking to Jim White and Simon Jordan on talkSPORT (09/09/21), Hughton confessed that it has been hard to deal with the pressure building from supporters following the Red’s poor start to the campaign.
However, he suggested that it is up to him and the players to get the fans back onside by putting performances that they can get behind irrespective of the results.
He said: “It’s difficult not to (hear the criticism) because we have a crowd that turn up in their thousands, you know if I look at the home games we’ve had the biggest attendances in the Championship, so it’s hard not to.
“What you also have to do as a manager, you have to concentrate on the job in hand and that’s about making sure you’re staying in games, making sure you’re trying to make the right substitutions to gain results and points that you need to do, and you need to be focused on what’s in front of you.
“But supporters getting behind the team is what you always want, and you know the best way for that to happen is by the supporters liking what they’re seeing, even if not the results that they want, but liking what they’re seeing and a team that are working hard enough to get those results.”
Hughton is a very experienced manager in the Championship and is used to enjoying success at this level having guided both Newcastle United and Brighton to promotion during his managerial career.
However, this is one of the most challenging periods in his career and he now needs to show that he can recover the situation and get his side moving back in the right direction against Cardiff.
You can understand why supporters have been feeling frustrated with Nottingham Forest’s performances so far this term, with them not really able to release the shackles and take the game to their opponents in the first month of the season.
The second-half display at Derby showed that there is still some fight left in the players under Hughton and that now needs to be the catalyst to improve results.
They really need to pick up a win against Cardiff to relieve some of the pressure because the stadium could really turn if they are to suffer another defeat this weekend.