Nottingham Forest have been fumbling around in the dark for far too long.

Two decades outside of the top tier have left many wondering whether light really exists at the end of the tunnel.

Is there such a thing as the other side?

Is this what life has become?

Well, a switch may finally have been flicked.

We are not emerging for another moment in the sun just yet, but illumination of sorts has been found.

It could easily be extinguished as quickly as it flashed on, but eyes are readjusting.

There is greater awareness of surroundings and the situation Forest face.

The focus is being narrowed with an ultimate end game in sight.

Among those to have experienced a moment of clarity is Reds midfielder Ryan Yates.

Chance

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

He has said in the Nottingham Post: “We’ve always thought we’re good enough to get promoted. We just need to string back-to-back results.

“We’ve been consistently inconsistent, which is not going to get us promoted, so we need to turn it on sooner rather than later.

“We need to get some consistency. I know people keep going on about it, but if we haven’t won back-to-back games then that’s more like relegation form than promotion.

“If we can’t put back-to-back wins together then we haven’t really got a chance. We’ve just got to take it game by game and focus on every game.”

Being “consistently inconsistent” is not a new problem for 2018-19.

It could be the tagline for Forest’s endeavours over the last 20 years.

Hope is built, then crushed.

The lights come on, only for the darkness to descend once more.

History could yet repeat itself before May.

Intention

 

Those with the ability to change that are, however, appearing to realise what is required.

This is not to suggest that they have been merely wandering around aimlessly in a darkened room for eight months.

Consistency has been sought since a first ball was kicked against Bristol City back in August 4.

Every time a win has been collected, the intention has been to follow it up with another.

That has not happened, though, since September.

Yates is right to suggest that such form would usually be associated with those scrapping it out towards the foot of the table, rather than the summit.

Forest have been able to buck that trend.

They now have seven games in which to find the end of the tunnel.

The ‘this is it’ message is finally hitting home, with the Reds firmly in now or never territory.

Lights are on, but will an acknowledgment of what needs to be done prove enough to prevent another fuse from blowing?