At the end of 2021, Forest looked like they had lost their way after suffering back-to-back defeats to Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town respectively.
However, the addition of a couple of fresh faces has seemingly improved the mood at the City Ground, Forest following a win over Arsenal in the FA Cup with a last-gasp victory at Millwall last weekend.
Lewis Grabban was again the hero, the veteran forward scoring his 11th Championship goal of the campaign to keep Forest within five points of the playoffs.
Head coach Steve Cooper knows that he needs more out of his frontline with Forest netting just four times in five games, but he will feel that the wins will come providing that the backline continue to do their job at the other end.
Forest end January with three matches against teams occupying spots in the bottom five, although they would be naive to dismiss neighbours Derby based on their league position.
With local pride also at stake, that has no chance of happening, but Derby have shown that, on current form, they are more than a match for anyone in the second tier.
Wayne Rooney’s side have accumulated 13 points from their most recent five fixtures, a return only matched by playoff-chasing Middlesbrough.
Despite the continuing distraction of off-the-pitch matters, Derby were able to beat Sheffield United by a 2-0 scoreline in their last outing, Tom Lawrence netting both of the goals.
The Rams currently find themselves in a position where they are unable to sign new players, a possible hindrance over the coming two weeks when offers will naturally be made for their current crop.
Nevertheless, Rooney needs to keep things ticking over on the pitch and hope that a takeover can be completed in time to make several additions before the end of the month