Three games without a goal - why are Nottingham Forest suffering a goal drought?

Forest City Ground

Nottingham Forest may have hit five goals against Fulham recently, but their 0-0 draw against Wigan tonight means it's three games with a goal.

Nottingham Forest made a blistering start to life under Stuart Pearce. The new manager led his team to 17 points from their first seven games, with five wins and two draws taking the club to the summit of the Championship table. However, things seem to have taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks.

After hammering Fulham 5-3, Forest have had three goalless draws - despite hitting 17 goals in the first seven games of the season. So where have the goals gone, all of a sudden?

The make up of the attack has largely been the same throughout. Britt Assombalonga, their £5.5m capture from Peterborough United, hit eight goals in the first seven games of the season and was flanked by Chris Burke and Michail Antonio during that - which he also was in recent stalemates against Millwall, Brighton and now Wigan.

However, the real issue could be in the absence of playmaker Andy Reid. The Irishman was withdrawn against Derby due to a groin injury, and has still yet to return. His vision and creativity from midfield are key to creating chances, and his absence against sterner sides than Fulham has been felt.

The return of striker Matty Fryatt will also be a huge boost to Pearce. The former Hull City and Leicester City hitman has been ruled out with a pelvic issue, and came on for the final 20 minutes of the game against Wigan tonight - with a potential start alongside Assombalonga for this weekend's visit of Ipswich Town.

When Reid and Fryatt return, Forest should start to find the back of the net more regularly. Players such as Dexter Blackstock and Lars Veldwijk need to contribute more in front of goal though, and Pearce really needs his attackers to bounce back against Ipswich on Sunday.

On the up side, Forest have had two away games in this run without goals, and executing sturdy defensive showings was hugely important. Pearce should still be happy that his side aren't conceding goals, but he certainly needs goals to come this weekend before Forest fans really start to worry.

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