Nottingham Forest nil is becoming an all too familiar sight and sound.

For those in attendance over recent weeks, there has been little to shout about.

And for those keeping up to date from afar, the picture has been just as bleak.

Those hoping to see the Reds terrorise the Championship are seeing their patience tested.

Fearsome is not a word that has been synonymous with the Forest frontline.

Another blank was recorded at Birmingham on Saturday, to go with an ever-growing number before that.

That is now eight in the club’s last 11 outings across all competitions.

In the league, 10 efforts have been recorded in as many games since seeing off Ipswich 2-0 on December 1.

Inspiration

(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

An average return of one goal per game does not tell the whole story though.

That return has been achieved in just three of the aforementioned fixtures.

Three against Norwich, four at home to Leeds and three during a visit from Wigan.

Outside of that – nothing.

And even when the net has bulged, it has often required a moment of inspiration to get fans on their feet.

All three of the strikes which saw off the Latics at the City Ground slotted seamlessly into the ‘spectacular’ category.

Against Leeds, Jack Colback opened the scoring as the result of a mistake while Ben Osborn wrapped it up with a scarcely-believable rocket from his right foot which cannoned in off the crossbar.

These are not ‘big chances’.

Most have barely been half chances.

Problem

 

And that is where the problem lies for Forest – they aren’t giving themselves enough opportunities to punish opponents.

Over the course of the 10 Championship matches referenced above, just five ‘big chances’ have been created – according to those at Opta.

That is the worst return in the division over that period of time – on a par with rock-bottom Ipswich.

To put things into greater perspective, resurgent Hull have carved open 30, Sheffield United 21 and Aston Villa 19.

Only six teams boast a worse goals per minute ratio over that sequence of fixtures and eight an inferior conversion rate from the shots which are fired in (12.5%).

Those numbers need to change, and quickly.

The Reds cannot afford to be more Chihuahua than St Bernard if they are to compete with the top dogs.

Bark and bite have been lost and Martin O’Neill must coax those qualities back out of a team which has been looking rather toothless of late.