This afternoon another packed house will welcome Nottingham Forest onto the pitch against Preston, with the Reds currently topping Derby when it comes to average home attendance.

Season card sales over the summer mirrored the sense of optimism delivered by a transfer window of positive recruitment.

Record-breaking numbers of supporters sought to snap up front row seats for a potential promotion push, with belief returned to the banks of the Trent.

Those acquiring half-season tickets have pushed the number of those planning to take in every home game between now and the end of the season past the 22,000 mark.

New owners, a manager with a track record of negotiating a route out of the Championship and proven performers down the spine of the side have helped to keep the turnstiles ticking over.

Bumper crowds

Bumper crowds are now the norm, with Forest riding high in more than one table this term.

With 10 games down in front of a loyal home support, the Reds are posting their best figures since returning to the second tier.

At any given game in 2018/19, you can expect to see over 27,500 followers filling the stands.

Only Aston Villa and Leeds, who both boast considerably bigger capacities than Forest, came claim to be bringing more punters through the gate.

As things stand, Aitor Karanka’s side are being cheered on by an average of 27,669 fans every time they take to the field on home soil.

That figure is over 1,000 clear of what Derby (26,246) are managing, while the likes of Sheffield United, Stoke, Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Blackburn – who all have the potential to fill more seats – are being left trailing in the Reds’ wake.

Attendances at the City Ground having actually been on the rise for a few years now, but the current campaign is raising the bar to impressive heights.

Forest dipped below the 20,000 mark back in 2015/16, while the last two seasons have seen them sit 10th in the overall average home support stakes.

(Photo by Rachel Holborn – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Average home attendances per season:

18/19: 27,669

17/18: 24,680

16/17: 20,333

15/16: 19,676

14/15: 23,492

13/14: 22,630

12/13: 23,082

11/12: 21,970

10/11: 23,275

09/10: 23,831

08/09: 22,299

It remains to be seen whether Forest can get over the line and secure a top-six finish this season but if they don’t it certainly won’t be for a lack of trying, on and off the pitch.