The formation had everyone guessing, including the players themselves it seems.
As it was, Danny Fox lined up at right back due to a perfect storm of injuries and suspensions - to be fair, it would have to be in order to recall the predominantly left footed and out of favour bearded one to play there. Steve Cotterill had few problems identifying where Forest right be vulnerable and promptly instructed his players to target the right back area. Football...so often a simple game overcomplicated by many.
This reaped dividends as Aaron Wilbraham took advantage of a serious and sustained bout of naval gazing by the entire Forest team and bagged two goals before 11 minutes were up. Of course Fox struggled and looked out of position and generally lived down to expectations but perhaps it would be surprising to expect anything else: he hasn't played for a while, been left to twiddle his thumbs during training and was recalled to play in an utterly alien position for him.
At one stage in the first half, Nelson Oliveira was in the right back area tidying up - it remains unclear what position Oliveira was supposed to be playing in but right back is probably somewhere quite low down the list - all roads pointing to as disjointed, confused and disorganised performance as you are likely to see this season.
Towards the end of the half, Daniel Pinillos made inroads down the wing and found Chris O'Grady in the penalty area. O'Grady held it up and looked for a team mate before laying the ball off perfectly to a red shirt: such a feat only emphasised his pondering style. If O'Grady can't hold the ball up and lay it off accurately, there is little else he can bring to the party - he may as well go and take his cheap Blue Nun and exit stage right.
In fairness, O'Grady was far from alone in turning in a downright dreadful performance.
The second half saw a marginally improved performance without seriously threatening the Bristol goal. Indeed, Dorus De Vries kept the scoreline respectable with three excellent saves - not for the first time this season. Wilbraham was a whisker away from claiming his hat-trick...Aaron Wilbraham folks.
Up to now, away performances have been solid and assured but the game was over the hill and far away after 11 minutes with little sign of it being retrieved and brought back to heel. It is now imperative that the home form improves.
Still, playing away against a side at the foot of the table, without a home win all season and with an ex-Forest manager, did you really expect anything else?