Gone for a Burton
The less said about the 'performance' at the Pirelli Stadium the better. Yet, I can't help but hope that the fourth round Carabao Cup defeat to Burton doesn't turn out to have a similarly destabilising effect as another recent Clough-inspired cup exit. February 16 2014 saw the Reds visit Nigel's Sheffield United side on a 16-match unbeaten run. A win would have meant that only a home tie against Charlton stood between the Tricky Trees and an FA Cup semi final. Despite going a goal up, Forest capitulated, failed to seize the moment and killed their momentum. Billy Davies never won another game in charge and was sacked just a month later.
I'm not suggesting that things will explode as badly as they did for Billy MK II, but it's a cautionary tale in how a poor cup defeat can have a knock-on effect if you're not careful. Momentum is difficult to build, but easy to lose. It was certainly frustrating to pass up a great chance to progress against Burton and it'll be tough to put that disappointment behind us when the league leaders are in town on Saturday.
Support for Karanka
One thing that was worth noting from Tuesday night - and in other games in fact - is the level of support from the paying punters for Aitor Karanka. He's attracted not one but two chants and both were audibly expressed by the travelling Trickies. Managers are rarely around enough to warrant such a privilege these days and while the support might, in part at least, come from a desperation for someone to stay around for a bit, that he is supported by the fans who attend games is not in doubt.
Is this significant? It's certainly worth bearing in mind when grumbles and murmurs begin on social media. It definitely ought to act as a reminder of the fact that Twitter is not always the best gauge of the entirety of fan opinion.
A goal from a corner
The Forest goal against Leeds United was a rare treat. Jack Robinson's header was the first goal from a corner since Dani Pinillos' injury time leveller in the 2-2 draw against Derby on March 18 2017 (thanks to Darren Morley for that shocking stat). That game - Mark Warburton's debut in the Forest dugout - feels a long time ago now doesn't it? The club's dismal record since is brought into sharp focus when you consider that we were the only team in all four English leagues and the top flight in Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Holland not to score from a corner last season (stats here). That's on top of conceding the most goals from corners in the division too.
It all goes to shown that we make life hard for ourselves, missing out on a potential source of goals and a way to win the sort of tight game that is common in the Championship. Let's hope Robinson's goal is the first of many.
Lesser spotted signings
I wonder how long it will be before we see the most recent two additions to Aitor Karanka's squad? Claudio Yacob and Panagiotis Tachtsidis are both yet to make their Reds bow despite, apparently, being fit. With Jack Colback being suspended, might Yacob step up to make his bow on Saturday? Given his recent pedigree, you'd like to think that he'd have plenty to offer at this level.
It's certainly the case that, despite having an abundance of midfield talent at the club, we haven't quite found a combination that can consistently dominate teams and dictate the play. You feel that the balance is much better when we don't field two deep-lying 'destroyers' - and Watson and Colback doesn't feel like the best combination.
Arvin on target
There was one bright note to come from the Burton game, however, as 17-year-old Arvin Appiah stepped off the bench to net his first senior goal on his debut. It's great to see the Academy production line continue, and that's something that we can't afford to lose sight at a time when we've just seen a big influx of new signings. With Joe Worrall out on loan and Ryan Yates struggling for game time, it's important to see that the door is not shut on the club's young talent.
I'd like to see us have the confidence to field Appiah on the bench for league games. Especially given that we've had some games in which there have been three wingers among the substitutes and no strikers. It'd take some strange circumstances for us to need to bring on three fresh wingers and, given the size of the benches these days, it's surely worth having an attacking player up our sleeves.
It also made me feel pretty old to read that Appiah was born on January 5 2001 - a time when the rest of us were suffering the second season of David Platt.