Nottingham Forest are enjoying their best start to a season since last slipping out of the Premier League back in 1999.

After 11 games, Sabri Lamouchi’s men have collected a healthy haul of 22 points.

That is enough to sit joint-top of the Championship at the second international break.

The Reds have already hit the summit this term for the first time in five years.

Stuart Pearce was the last man to have Forest looking down on the rest of the second tier.

The wheels did, however, come off that particular bandwagon fairly quickly.

Back in 2014-15, the Reds opened with 21 points through 11 games.

They went on to finish 14th.

Warning signs are there, but now is definitely a time for positivity.

Title

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Not since the heady days of Pierre van Hooijdonk and Kevin Campbell leading the line has the picture looked this good.

And back in 1997-98, the Reds swept to title glory.

With Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett calling the shots, Forest had 23 points to their name at this stage.

To only be one adrift of that mark is a serious feather in Lamouchi’s cap.

Especially as there is the potential for more to come.

Forest are already faring better than they did in the most notable campaigns from the recent past.

In 2002-03, Paul Hart oversaw a push into the play-offs with a side that included a young Michael Dawson.

He only took 20 points from 11 games, while Billy Davies collected 16 in 2009-10 and 13 in 2010-11 en route to securing back-to-back top-six finishes.

Even Frank Clark’s side which included iconic figures such as Stan Collymore, Stuart Pearce and Steve Stone could only muster 13 points out of the blocks in 1993-94.

Feel-good

 

A feel-good factor has been established by the class of 2019-20.

All of the pieces are in place – a reliable goalkeeper, commanding centre-halves, ball-winners and players in the engine room and a proven goal-getter up front.

Why shouldn’t Forest be looking to emulate the achievements of memorable sides from years gone by?

Lamouchi is doing his best to keep a lid on things.

He told the Nottingham Post in the wake of a 1-0 win over Brentford which lifted Forest back into the automatic promotion spots: “Step by step.

“To talk about promotion… I don’t say it is impossible for the fans, for you, for the club, maybe.

“But it is like this every year because this club deserves the best.”

Lamouchi is right to urge caution.

He has, however, got us daring to dream once more and nobody is going to stop a loyal fan base that has waited so long to get this excited from getting a little carried away.