Lee Clarke’s Nottingham Forest FC blog: Things are on the up

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SO here we sit on the pedestal to our best start to a Football League season for six years and I for one am extremely excited and encouraged by what I have seen thus far.

Having safely negotiated our way to the first international break we sit third in the league with a pair of home wins over Bristol City and Charlton, as well as two decent draws over Huddersfield and Bolton on the road – things really are on the up!

Win your own games and pick up what you can away would be the message from most managers when asked what they hope for from a campaign, but what has been so pleasing about our away performances is the manner in which we have played.

I had the privilege of being at the newly named John Smith’s stadium to witness what was quite frankly an absolute hammering of Huddersfield during their first game back in the Championship. I don’t think anyone at the ground would argue that the 1-1 score-line was extremely unjust on us.

One man, for me, has revitalised our fortunes and it may come as a surprise to a few when I say Simon Gillett.

To watch the former Doncaster man play, you would be forgiven for thinking that Paul McKenna had stepped back onto the City Ground turf such is the familiarity between the two and the roles which they play. For the stick McKenna took from a certain section of fans in his time at the club reality is that we missed him when he didn’t play and Gillett will have the same effect.

Gillett in all honestly is a better version of McKenna simply because he keeps the ball much better, but the reality is that all good teams at Championship level need a holding midfielder to dictate the play from just in front of the defence. This is an area that last season we were found to be incredibly inadequate.

Keeping the likes of Gillett fit will, I feel, genuinely determine whether or not we can maintain our current position at the top end of the Championship – and before anyone starts that is not me getting carried away but merely being positive about our chances!

One thing to note so early into the season is that there is a real buzz back at the City Ground and as much positivity as I can ever remember surrounding the club.

What is important is that fans continue to stay in this together and keep getting behind the team with ample positivity. If we all do that then I can only see things getting better and better.