Deepdale visitors Nottingham Forest have road-trip troubles ahead of Preston clash
Nottingham Forest will be looking to halt a run of poor away form when they travel to Deepdale this weekend to take on Preston.
Mark Warburton’s men have lost their last four games on their travels since beating Hull City 3-2 at the KC Stadium at the end of October.
Over the last month-and-a-half, Forest have lost away to Reading 3-1, Birmingham City 1-0, Ipswich Town 4-2 and most recently Bristol City 2-1 last weekend.
A sloppy first-half performance put paid to any hopes of collecting all three points at Ashton Gate as they conceded twice before the interval.
A much improved showing after the break saw them cut the deficit through Kieran Dowell, but they were unable to find an equaliser and slipped to defeat.
In total they have lost eight on the road and only won three.
Interestingly, after earning a point on their last trip to Deepdale in a 1-1 draw back in April, Forest have not drawn since.
So far this season they have lost 12 and won 10 of their 22 league games and sit in a midtable position in the Championship – seven points behind Sheffield United, who occupy the sixth and final play-off position.
Warburton has a decision to make as to who will fill in at left-back this weekend.
With regular full-back Danny Fox still recovering from a knee injury, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Ben Osborn will start at the weekend.
Although a midfielder, the 23-year-old came off the bench against Bristol to good effect and gave Forest some much-needed balance down the left-hand side.
It is possible Warburton may opt to use Eric Lichaj – normally a right full-back – in that position although there is the option of utilising Armand Traore.
Despite their recent problems away from home, PNE boss Alex Neil is expecting his side to be tested by Forest.
“They’re very expansive, they play a lot of passes and move the ball well.
“If we don’t cope with that well enough then it could be a difficult day. But what we’re good at lends itself to dealing with that.
“Like most teams they’ve had good spells and bad spells and I think we’re well equipped to try and win the game.
“They’ve won 10 and lost 12 this, it’s very much hit-or-bust type thing. It should make for an entertaining match.”
Forest have found goals on their travels fairly easy to come by, having notched 15 – with striker Daryl Murphy contributing more than a quarter of them. It is at the other end where they are having problems, having conceded 24 from their 11 away games – the worst record in the Championship so far.
Meanwhile,Warburton this week had to deny having a bust-up with striker Jason Cummings. “I read that I have apparently had a massive bust-up with him on the training ground. So I asked him when that happened?”