Late drama has been an all too familiar theme for Nottingham Forest this season and could be considered to be contributing to the questioning of Aitor Karanka.

The Telegraph are among those to have suggested that the Reds boss finds himself on borrowed time.

Talk of losing the dressing has been rubbished, alongside that of supposed end of year targets, but speculation is rumbling on regardless.

It is now up to Karanka to quash the rumours.

Forest can still end 2018 on a positive note – potentially even inside the top six.

If that is what is being demanded of Karanka, then it is far too early to be writing him and his side off.

Issues

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

There are, however, obvious issues which need to be addressed.

Taking two points from the last 12 on offer is not what anybody had in mind when entering the countdown to Christmas.

That is what the Reds have mustered, though, and a trip to lowly Millwall on Saturday has taken on greater importance.

Forest will make that trip with painful memories of a day out in Norwich still fresh in the mind.

A late collapse at Carrow Road was difficult to stomach, but needs to be shaken from the system.

Karanka’s side have been a tough nut to crack at times this season, collecting 10 clean sheets, but they do have a tendency to shoot themselves in the foot when they are breached.

Of the 26 goals that the Reds have conceded this term, 11 have come in the final 15 minutes of games.

Flourish

 

That is 42.3 per cent of the entire collection of efforts recorded against the Reds.

In contrast, just eight of Forest’s 35 goals (22.9%) have come in the closing stages – with only one mustered in 10 Championship games since beating Bolton back on October 24.

Forest are not finishing with a flourish, in more ways than one.

Those faults were painfully exposed again at Carrow Road, with questions being asked of Karanka’s substitutions as his ongoing presence in the dugout becomes the subject of unwelcome rumours.

Not every late effort to have breached the Forest backline has proved costly, but West Brom, Millwall, Norwich (twice) and Leeds have all snatched points which could have the Reds flying much higher heading into 2019.

Having repeated one trick against the Canaries, Karanka needs his team to avoid doing similar in their next two outings against foes that have already proved a thorn in their side.