Forest coach outlines what must be done to achieve promotion

Stuart Pearce

Brian Eastick believes a strong defence is what Nottingham Forest need if they want to achieve promotion to the Premier League.

Forest have struggled to hit the heights of their early season form, with an 11-game unbeaten run falling into three losses from their last four games.

Goals from Britt Assombalonga have dried up, and Michail Antonio has been carrying his teammates with little effect in recent weeks, whilst the defence that conceded just nine goals in those 11 undefeated games has conceded the same amount in just four fixtures.

The Reds have fallen out of the play-off places, and, whilst the division is remarkably tight - with just three points separating first-placed Watford with sixth-placed Norwich - Stuart Pearce’s side are ten points off top spot - and they look like falling further off the leaders on current form.

Many people have offered advice for Pearce - with the claim that he needs to bring aggression back to the City Ground being thrown around frequently - but first-team coach Brian Eastick believes that clean sheets and a strong defence are the key components needed in a promotion winning side.

Speaking to the official Forest website, Eastick said: “In our particular circumstance it’s really not rocket science.

“We need to keep a clean sheet or, at worst, only let one goal in to give ourselves a platform to go on and win the match.

“We just can’t afford to let the amount of goals in that we have been doing if we want to get promotion.”

The need to defend at a higher ability has been much the reason for fans claiming Pearce needs to bring the aggression back into his players, and Eastick admitted that Pearce will field a team who have the courage to deal with their turbulent situation.

He added: “Stuart will be putting players on the pitch who have got the courage to get on the ball and the mental toughness to deal with the difficult situation we’ve got at the moment.

“I think one win would put us back on track and give the players some confidence. Then hopefully we can go a run again.”

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