Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka was handed a substantial transfer budget during the summer and the early signs suggest that the Spaniard is starting to reap the rewards of having the luxury of being able to splash the cash.
The Reds have taken some time to really make the rest of the second tier stand up and take notice. Although last weekend’s superb win over Middlesbrough will have undoubtedly given some of the league’s big hitters food for thought.
Forest have drawn on seven occasions so far during 2018/19 and, while some of the more cynical fans will say that is too often, it is worth noting that it is the same number lost at this stage of last season under the stewardship of Mark Warburton.
The Reds’ only reversal after 12 games of the current campaign came prior to the last international break when the Reds were beaten 2-1 by Brentford, whilst it was also the only fixture in which Karanka has seen his players completely outplayed by the opposition.
Alongside the team’s solid league form they can also look forward to a last 16 Carabao Cup game against League One outfit Burton Albion, with Forest having already knocked out Bury, Newcastle United and Stoke City.
Of course it is worth noting that Forest under Warburton at this stage of last season had won a game more than the four they have collected during the current campaign, but the copious amounts of defeats had the Reds in a lowly 15th placed position.
Warburton was sacked over the hectic Christmas period after a refusal to change a style of football which simply wasn’t working. Karanka didn’t exactly pull up any trees last season but there is now a clear sign that the Reds can go places under his management, especially with a vastly experienced squad of players at his disposal and a style of football which has worked wonders for him in the past.