Nottingham Forest have already equalled last season's seven league wins and with over half the season left to be played, The Reds are on course to smash that record.
Defenders Lyndsey Harkin and Georgia Hewitt have been prominent figures over the past two seasons and they have been reflecting on the team's improvements over the last 12 months.
The win over Middlesbrough equalled the amount of league wins that we earned throughout the whole of last season (seven), how great is that?
Harkin: “I think it’s a fantastic achievement for us to equal last season’s wins so early on in the season. It’s testament to how hard everyone at the club has worked including all the staff and whole squad. Although it’s good to be where we are so far, we aren’t just going to sit back and rest on our laurels now we’ve equalled it. We want to continue to push on and are striving to improve every day.”
Hewitt: “It’s absolutely amazing, I think you always want to build on the previous season and to equal the points we had last season this early on is a great feeling, especially for players such as myself and Lynno who played both then and now. We now need to keep our heads focused and make sure we pass seven league wins to better last season’s tally and I have full belief we can achieve that goal.”
You both were here last season and besides the increase in funding and professionalism within the club what would you say is the major difference from last season to now?
Harkin: “I think the support shown from the club has been second to none. We’ve bought in some quality players with experience in higher leagues to improve an already decent core. The belief and mentality within the squad has improved massively. Not just compared to last season but I would say also from the start of the season to where we are now too. We have a winning mentality throughout the squad and are always pushing each other.”
Hewitt: “You’ve probably heard everyone say it before and to outsiders it probably seems “cringey” but we are actually like a little family. Everyone just clicks really well and respects each other, we’ve had a lot of additions this season and I think it could have gone either way but it’s turned out to be a bit of a puzzle where everyone’s slotted together nicely and we’ve completed the picture. We all have time for each other and we genuinely want to spend time with each other such as before training we’ll sit down and have a coffee or a tea and just chat about our personal lives. Everyone is willing and wanting to help push each other to become not only better players but better people.”
Throughout the second half of last season the main mentality of the squad was to not get relegated and now this year it’s to get promoted, how refreshing is it to have that belief within a team?
Hewitt: “I think last season I used the word resilient a lot and would describe the team as that because we had to really dig deep towards the end and make sure we gained points from any games we could in any possible way. Compared to this season, I don’t think I’ve been a part of a team that has so much capability, on a personal level last season I probably wouldn’t have thought I was a top of the table player so my confidence has grown a lot and I think the same probably goes for a lot of the players who were in the same position as me last season. Couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this team with the players, coaching staff and everyone involved.”
The team currently sit third in the league and have registered wins over sides that Forest have failed to beat in recent seasons, what does it feel like to be a part of this?
Harkin: “We’ve put in some quality performances so far and have gained crucial points against some very good teams. We’ve showed that we can compete with all the teams in the league, which is great because in other years we’ve been quite far off that. There’s still a way to go but if we continue working hard, believing in our ability then there’s no reason why we can’t be at the right end of the table come the end of the season. It’s hard to explain the feeling, but I know it’s a very special time to be part of Nottingham Forest.”
Hewitt: “To be honest, only now that you’ve said it I don’t think we’ve even realised that, I think we just go into each game focusing on ourselves and when we come off the pitch after the game we reflect on what we did as a team and how we can better ourselves for the following game. Never the less I think that just shows the ability of the team this year, last season we probably walked away from a lot of the top table teams with defeats whereas this season we’ve come out with points. We haven’t achieved anything yet though and we need to keep grafting hard, while keeping our feet on the ground and an eye on the goal.”