The Reds are the only team in the top seven levels of English football who have not netted an away goal in the 2019/20 campaign. Their away games have seen them lose 2-0 at both Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City before a much-improved performance in a goalless draw at Wigan Athletic.
Coach Chris Stern said: “We are gaining experience as a promoted team of how to play away from home. We have gained experience from the first two games and a better experience at Wigan then, from all three games, we will find a way at Forest. It depends on the opposition. “Some teams come at you and some teams sit back.
“We still have the same principles and style. But in terms of going forward and playing positive football, we saw it in Wigan and against Leeds.”
Daniel Stendel’s side have not won in seven games in all competitions since beating Fulham on the opening day of the season. But their performances in the 0-0 draw at Wigan before the international break and the 2-0 home loss to league leaders Leeds United on Sunday have drawn compliments from staff and fans.
Stern said: “It’s the way we played against Fulham and the way we got promoted last season. We demand a lot of the players and get the most out of them. To be positive in and out of possession, get in duels, support each other as a team – this is what Barnsley stands for.
"We started in Wigan. We had a good game there, considering all the players who were out. We had to use the training days in the international break after we played a lot of games in August. We had more time to make small adjustments to the way we play. We worked hard in the international break and the standard against Leeds was the standard we need to be at in every game.
“We have our Barnsley team back and the supporters appreciated that performance. It’s what the players need to demand from themselves in training and in games. We need to show consistency. We can take a lot of positives from the great game we had against Leeds and, if we take our chances, we will win games.”
Having spent £25million last season, half of which went on Portugal under 21s star Joao Carvalho, Forest splashed less cash in preparation for this campaign although they did bring in 13 new players – mainly from overseas. Manager Martin O’Neill was sacked days before pre-season training was due to start and replaced by former France international Sabri Lamouchi.
They lost their first game of the season 2-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion but, since then, they are unbeaten in eight with five wins including Saturday’s 1-0 success at Swansea City who began the day on top of the table. Forest have 12 points from their first seven games and are tenth in the table, 12 places ahead of third-bottom Barnsley who have five points. They have picked up four points from three home league games so far with the opening day loss being followed by a 3-0 beating of Birmingham City and a 1-1 draw with Preston North End.
Stern said: “It’s a stable team. “It’s a proper Championship club. They had great results recently. They beat Swansea last weekend. It’s going to be hard for us, they are on a good run, but we want to win again. If they feel they need to win at home against a promoted team who haven’t won for a couple of games, then that is a good opportunity for us. “But I think they will prepare properly for us like we will for them.”
Forest still have on their books goalkeeper Jordan Smith, who impressed for Barnsley on an emergency loan in their 2-0 win at Accrington Stanley last season. Oakwell left-back Dani Pinillos played 35 games for Forest between 2015 and 2017, with his only goal being a late leveller against local rivals Derby County.
The Reds have only won twice at the City Ground in 17 visits across 71 years since 1948. Marc Richards netted twice in a 2-0 win in 2006 then Conor Hourihane’s late screamer was the only goal of the January 2017 meeting. In the 2017/18 season, Barnsley won 2-1 at home with goals from Tom Bradshaw and Ryan Hedges but lost 3-0 in Nottingham days before their relegation was confirmed with a 4-1 defeat across the East Midlands at Derby County.