Article by Paul Grant
The City Ground is currently finding itself in a much more bouyant mood as November approaches.
Having endured a diminutive start to the campaign and stomached its ramifications, most notably the staunch scrutiny emanating from an expectant fanbase, Colin Calderwood has taken his Forest side on a scintillating eight-match unbeaten run which has placed them on the brink of an automatic promotion place.
The launch pad for the Reds' surge up the table came at Port Vale midway through September by virtue of a thoroughly impressive 2-0 victory, since which time Forest have notched up a further four wins and three draws, to tally an impressive 18 points from the last possible 24.
'Strength at the business end'
A goalless draw at home to Doncaster aside, the Reds have shown sufficient fire power in attack over the last six weeks to warrant their label as pre-season favourites for promotion to the Championship.
Of the front men, Junior Agogo has encouragingly returned from early season injury to find the net five times, including a sumptuous hat-trick against Gillingham at the City Ground in September.
Even more eye-catching has been the form of Kris Commons, who finds himself leading the goalscoring charts with seven goals, a tally which includes six in his last five starts.
Between them, Agogo and Commons have seemingly masterminded Forest's resurgence, having netted 12 of Forest's 18 league goals already this season.
But for many fans, the principal orchestrator of the Reds' recent burst has been midfielder Chris Cohen, whose return from injury immediately coincided with the team's winning streak following his debut at Vale Park.
Cohen has been consistently menacing, striking up a formidable partnership with Julian Bennett at left back, which has been thoroughly penetrative in attack and full of bustle.
The three-pronged attack Calderwood now possesses in the form of Cohen, Agogo and Commons is perhaps now the most revered in League One.
Cohen in particular has exploited the mandate issued to him to run at defenders and to play high up the pitch, an ability which has more than complemented Commons' creative capacities and Agogo's instincts infront of goal.
Competition for places is rife at the City Ground at the moment, a situation which will no doubt present Calderwood with a number of selection headaches.
Nathan Tyson has found himself on the bench more times than he would have enjoyed this campaign, as has Grant Holt, Forest's leading scorer last season but who has yet to find the net in this campaign.
But perhaps the most notable absentee from the starting line-up has been club captain Ian Breckin, who was forced to wait until last Saturday's home game against Doncaster before making his first start of the season.
The imperious form of Wes Morgan and Kelvin Wilson at the heart of the Reds' defence had resigned Breckin to the role of a mere spectator since his return from injury midway through September.
Nottingham Forest's Junior Agogo
The 32 year-old has heaped praise on a partnership which had leaked just two goals in its last seven matches before Morgan sustained an injury in the fixture away at Cheltenham on October 13.
"It's been a bit frustrating for me but Wes and Kelvin have played really well so I've had no complaints. I knew in the week that Wes was struggling so I got my mind right and got myself prepared."
Reports from the club suggest that summer signing Arron Davies may be on the verge of reaching full fitness following an ankle injury suffered in pre-season, in which case Calderwood will be additionally pleased about the range of players he has at his disposal at the side continues its assault on League One.
And Breckin is in ardent approval of the squad's capabilities to deal with the injuries which will inevitably arise as the season continues.
'What we've got is good quality. If anyone gets injured we've got lads who can come in and do just as good a job'.
Indeed Breckin was resolute in assisting to keep Doncaster at bay last weekend, and will be keen to retain the same mantle of responsibility as Forest travel to Luton and entertain both Oldham Athletic and Tranmere Rovers at the City Ground in the space of just a week.
last updated: 14/03/2008 at 15:41