Preston face a Nottingham Forest side struggling for consistency

Forest's leading scorer Kieran Dowell is on loan from Everton
Forest's leading scorer Kieran Dowell is on loan from Everton

Nottingham Forest’s form would best be described as up and down as they get ready to welcome Preston to the City Ground.

Lately they have shown their quality with shock wins over Arsenal and Championship leaders Wolves.

But in between have been defeats to Aston Villa and Hull City.

It has been a busy few weeks on the red bank of the River Trent since PNE drew with Forest two days before Christmas at Deepdale.

Forest sacked manager Mark Warburton on New Year’s Eve after two home defeats.

Ex-North End striker Gary Brazil – Forest’s head of academy– took charge on a caretaker basis and led them to a 4-2 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup.

The following day, Aitor Karanka was appointed as the new manager.

They lost to Villa at home in their next game but then caused a shock in the league by winning 2-0 against runaway leaders Wolves, one of the goals coming from leading scorer Kieran Dowell who is on loan from Everton.

It was back down to earth on Saturday though, as they bowed out of the 
FA Cup, beaten 2-1 at Hull.

Karanka said: “It seems like we went there thinking it would be an easy game because Hull aren’t having the best time at the moment.

“However, they have players with a lot more maturity than we do.”