Have Reid's, Cohen's and Hobbs' injuries been the major reason behind Forest's problems in 2014?

Nottingham Forest's key players have rarely been fit at the same time during 2014.

Nottingham Forest's 2014 will go down as a year of frustrations, where the club have failed to meet expectations.

After missing out on the playoffs in dramatic style last season, they went into the new campaign as favourites for promotion, but they already look unlikely to even make it into the top six.

The Reds have won just twice in their last 17 matches and are nine points behind the playoff pack with half the season played.

The ended their 2014 with a 3-1 defeat to Birmingham City and it was a match which rather summed up a very forgettable year for the Midlands side.

The squad are playing well below their potential, and they have unquestionably under performed for 12 months, but there may be some mitigating circumstances for the squad. 

Forest have suffered with injuries badly over the course of the year, with many of their key players having to miss sizable chunks of action. 

Jack Hobbs, Andy Reid and Chris Cohen - three players who would usually be the heartbeat of the team - have all been severely injured and their combined struggles have been too much for the club to cope with.

The trio have started just four games together over the year and that is something which cannot be overlooked when discussing Forest's form.

Although the Reds should have coped better with their absences, the loss of three players of such quality would have negatively impacted any team in the Football League and it does provide some reasoning behind their persistent struggles. 

With 2015 fast approaching, Hobbs and Reid are also edging closer to fitness and when they do return to action the hope will be that Forest's form will be hugely improved as a result - because they will have run out of excuses if it does not.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch