The Warmdown: Forest make it four straight league wins to jump into the top six
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Nottingham Forest fans left the City Ground in jubilant spirits after the Reds climbed into the Championship play-off positions for the second time this season with a 2-0 victory over Coventry City.

Steve Cooper fist pumped the crowd at full-time after the important victory that took them into fifth place; they now have a two-point gap on seventh-placed Middlesbrough.

Here are some talking points from Wednesday night’s performance…

Confidence is flowing through Forest

In ways it was not Forest’s best performance; however, the Reds still looked dominant in possession and took their goals smartly against a stubborn Sky Blues side that maintained a low block which helped them more than match Forest in the opening quarter.

Their system restricted Forest’s ability to progress forward, as they created a defensive overload in the host’s final third. However, Forest’s determination shone through, as their relentlessness meant that eventually, they found a way.

On 25 minutes, Keinan Davis threaded a sumptuous ball into the path of Jack Colback, whose subsequent drilled cross along the face of goal was eventually swept home by Brennan Johnson after a block from Jake Bidwell.

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Johnson’s 15th goal of the season forced the visitors to open a little, but they remained defensively focused, meaning that the Reds had to convoke another clever little move to misshape City’s backline.

Davis was involved again, rolling the ball through the legs of Michael Rose before passing it off to James Garner, who rifled a left-footed strike past Simon Moore on 63 minutes to seal the win.

They could have added another, but Ryan Yates hit the bar from close range following a flick-on from a corner.

Their fluidity in possession was particularly eye-catching, whilst the back three of Joe Worrall, Tobias Figueiredo, and Scott McKenna kept things resolute at the back with the help of wingbacks Djed Spence and Colback, who both tracked back well from offensive positions, and with the work of midfield duo Garner and Yates, who were able to quickly transition between both phases of play.

That was Forest’s fourth straight Championship victory, placing them second in the form table over the last 10 games behind league leaders Fulham.

After six wins and three draws from that period, the confidence is high at the City Ground under Cooper’s stewardship. But the question is will Forest now hold their nerve and utilise their two games in hand to firmly cement their place there? Or could they possibly catch second-placed AFC Bournemouth, who have an eight-point advantage over the Reds, with eight games to go?

Keinan Davis was problematic for Sky Blues' backline

Davis was a real handful for the Coventry backline on Wednesday night.

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The on-loan Aston Villa striker had a quiet start until the Reds began to utilise his 'target man' qualities that helped bring Johnson, Philip Zinckernagel, and the two wingbacks into the attacking play.

Davis backed up against one of the back three to bring them out of the line of defence, which in turn created space for a late runner – that is how Forest scored both of their goals.

The 24-year-old drew two fouls and made five successful dribbles – the second most in the game.

James Garner’s excellence centrally 

Another loanee who stood out on Wednesday night was Manchester United youngster Garner, who managed to register his eighth goal involvement this season in the league.

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Garner has excelled in this campaign, and his man-of-the-match display proved why many people are excited about his future.

The 21-year-old maintained an 85.4 per cent pass accuracy from 41 passes, which was the highest percentage on the Forest side.

Both Garner and Yates dominated the midfield battle, as their shuttling runs helped recycle possession and as a pair, they rarely got overran by City’s middle box.

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