Nottingham Forest’s team spirit can help fire them up the Championship table, insists goalkeeper Dorus de Vries.
The Dutchman played in a hugely successful Swansea side that went from League One right up into the Premier League between 2007 and 2011.
And he believes the atmosphere and sense of togetherness in the City Ground dressing room is comparable to that he experienced in Wales.
Dougie Freedman’s side suffered a league defeat for the first time since November last weekend, having previously notched up 13 games unbeaten in the Championship.
But de Vries still feels that something positive is growing at Forest and believes the team spirit can help the club progress.
“The team spirit here is right up there,” said de Vries, who had kept four consecutive Championship clean sheets prior to the 2-0 loss to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
“There was a time, when I was at Swansea, when we got promotion from League One and then up into the Premier League.
“But this spirit here is right up there, it is as good as that.
“The team is playing well, the spirit is really good and we do try to push each other on to the next level.”
Keeper de Vries (pictured), who has produced some important saves for the Reds this season, credits Freedman for adding a little steel to the Forest side.
“The gaffer has changed things a little bit as well. He saw what we needed; he saw that we needed a little more ruthlessness,” said de Vries.
“He wanted us to have a tougher mentality. We have come together like that and I hope that shows.
“The mentality and spirit of the team is the most important thing there is.
“If I compare that to other teams, where I have had success, it is right up there. It is one of the best dressing rooms I have been in.”
Forest do not have a game this weekend, with scheduled opponents Hull City still involved in the FA Cup. But they will look to bounce back to form against Burnley at Turf Moor next Tuesday, in a difficult fixture.
“Everyone in the dressing room just wants one thing – to win games. Clean sheets are great. But it is just about winning games,” added de Vries.
“We cannot look too far back or too far ahead, it is always about the next games.
“We can look back on it and say that we had a great run, but we want to build on it and become even better still.
“We want to show that we are progressing.
“The players play with a smile on their faces. We have to, because it is a great job.
“I have been in relegation battles in the past and this is much, much better.
“When you are winning games, you always have a smile on your face.”