Nottingham Forest suffered a costly defeat on Tuesday evening, falling to a slender loss to Luton Town at the City Ground.
The loss is particularly worrying considering that Chris Hughton’s men are now just 11 points clear of the relegation zone, with sides below them having as many three matches in hand.
However, there were signs throughout the clash that could give the club reason to be optimistic in avoiding relegation to League One.
Manager Hughton was impressed with how his side managed to create opportunities. Following the game, he said that Forest were “very good”, having some presentable chances to open the scoring before the break.
The fact that Forest were creating opportunities is a positive sign. It is, in fact, something that they have managed throughout the majority of the campaign.
At their current rate, the East Midlands side are taking 11.6 shots per game according to WhoScored, which is in fact the sixth-highest in the Championship.
Of course, that does not mean all too much if the team are just attempting pot shots from distance, which to an extent is true. Approximately 40% of Forest’s shots this season have come from outside of the penalty area – only Reading, Barnsley and Huddersfield Town have a higher percentage.
However, judging by the expected goals model (xG), Hughton’s men are actually creating very presentable chances.
They currently possess an xG count of 40.07 which is dramatically higher than their number of actual goals scored, 28.
That disparity in these numbers can come down to one of two aspects: poor fortune i.e. excellent stops from opposition goalkeepers or indeed, poor finishing.
Whilst that poor finishing could potentially hamper Forest for the rest of the season, there will hopefully come a point where the chances indeed start finding the back of the net with more regularity, swiftly moving the club away from the drop zone. After all, they are certainly more creative than any of their relegation rivals.
Hughton’s men just need to keep generating chances at the rate they currently are and their luck in front of goal will hopefully turn.
AND in more news, we analyse Glenn Murray’s awful performance in the defeat against Luton…