Assombalonga and Antonio both joined Forest over the summer, with the club spending a combined fee of roughly £7 million to prise the pair away from Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
Assombalonga, who became Forest’s record signing upon his arrival, was set to lead the line of the big-spending club, with promotion to the Premier League the season aim, whilst Antonio was to sit behind him, acting as the Reds main creative force. Both stars fulfilled their duties with incredible aptitude in their early weeks with the club, but a string of negative results - including a run of nine games without a victory - saw their game winning returns diminish.
The forward struggled in front of goal, and, having scored eight goals in his first seven games for the club, he managed to net just one strike in the run of nine games without a win. Antonio suffered a less notable dip in form, and he was relied upon too heavily to claim results by himself. He scored four goals in that same run, including both strikes in a limp Forest performance away at Watford - which thankfully ended in a draw.
However, both returned to their old selves in the last five minutes of last weekend’s tie with promotion rivals Norwich City. Despite losing 1-0, Assombalonga scored in the 85th minute to lift the mood at the City Ground, before Antonio netted the goal that gave Forest their first win September two minutes into injury time.
Despite their struggles on the pitch, goalkeeper Karl Darlow - on loan at the club from Newcastle, who purchased him in the summer - never doubted the duo’s abilities, and he believes they will keep scoring goals for the rest of the season.
Speaking to the Nottingham Post, Darlow said: “It is great to have that firepower in the side, they are both excellent lads, but they also work hard on the training ground, that shines through in their performances.
“If we keep putting the balls in and keep supplying them, hopefully they will only get more goals between now and the end of the season.”
Assombalonga is joint top Championship goalscorer with 10 strikes to his name this term, whilst Antonio has one fewer in the league competition.