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Nottingham Forest’s January dallying could cost them automatic promotion

When Billy Davies continued to emphasise the importance of adding in the January window for many months, you could be forgiven for thinking the club would act quickly.

As Nottingham Forest relax back and look at their options, Burnley, Leicester and Derby have all strengthened. Over 20 days in, and The Reds have only managed to tie up Jack Hobbs on loan until the end of the season. A deal that we all thought was completed in the summer.

Names such as Jordan Rhodes, Danny Ings, Danny Graham, Nicky Maynard, Shane Long, Luke Moore, Connor Wickham, Matty Fryatt have all been linked.

With Danny Graham reportedly close to sealing a move to the City Ground, could he be a hindrance to the continuing Forest momentum?

One goal in thirty appearances, with Hull and Sunderland both eager to get him off their books. Severely lacking match fitness, so surely bringing him in at the end of January isn’t wise?

While Huddersfield bring in an in-form Nakhi Wells who has carried on with two in two, Forest are close to signing someone who Billy Davies is sure to typically talk about as, “needing to get games.”

As Davies has said himself, the season starts in January; so why wait until the finishing straight of the month to strengthen where he knows he’s needed to for so long?

Fawaz Al-Hasawi spoke on January 17th about having just met up with the manager to firm up their targets… something that you hope would’ve been done on December 31st.

Promotion rivals Leicester City shrewdly bought experienced Kevin Phillips. Fifteen minutes on the pitch. One instinctive dummy in the box. One goal, and game won as Leicester stretched their lead at the top. Nous in the penalty area is something that Forest lack, and critical points have been lost because of it.

As Forest faced The Foxes in a gruelling final day last season, they went in to the game having won only one in seven. They could’ve faced Leicester assured of their place in the playoffs, but Forest’s chances of Premier League football were dashed.

The chances of promotion weren’t lost in the final game. The regrets and anguish came from the run of games previous, but they need to ensure the same mistake isn’t made.

Have Forest learnt their lesson?

In January so far, they have frustratingly lost four points from winning positions against Bolton and Reading. The difference between an automatic place and the playoffs are thin, and the points lost as they dally over transfer targets could be crucial.

The new striker could spend the next month getting his sharpness back; meaning in some games he may have to be sacrificed for the greater good. When in truth, the club need a striker to hit the ground running.

Fortunately for Forest, the next three games are at home, giving the new man a welcoming boost. Also looking to the heavens gratefully at the fixture list will be the patched-up back four, as the thought of them facing an onslaught of pressure away from home, with the majority of the crowd against them, doesn’t make happy thinking.

With Fawaz Al-Hasawi recently stressing that the target is the Top Two, describing fifth place as “OK”, Billy Davies should have no excuses when he’s provided with his striker.

Momentum is building at the City Ground following four straight home wins. The fear factor loss months previously replicated the current one at Old Trafford, but with Billy Davies turning it into a fortress once again, a push for the top is even more likely.

@will_forest to get in touch via Twitter.

Article title: Nottingham Forest’s January dallying could cost them automatic promotion

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