EFL pundit picks out two Nottingham Forest players that could be vital to revival under Steve Cooper | OneFootball

EFL pundit picks out two Nottingham Forest players that could be vital to revival under Steve Cooper

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Sky Sports EFL pundit and former Nottingham Forest midfielder David Prutton has suggested that both Joe Lolley and Brennan Johnson are going to be vital players in helping the Reds push up the table now.

It has been a very difficult start to the season for Nottingham Forest in the Championship.

After failing to win any of their first seven league matches the decision was made to part ways with Chris Hughton.

Steven Reid took caretaker charge of the Reds for their trip to Huddersfield Town last weekend and a shift to a 3-4-2-1 formation helped Forest produce a much stronger performance and finally end their winless start to the season.

Lolley and Johnson were selected by Reid to operate just behind Grabban in a front three. It was a tactic that really worked out well for the Reds. Both players proved to be real threats to the Huddersfield defence and crucial to the victory.

Steve Cooper has now been named as Nottingham Forest’s new manager, and after he had deployed a similar sort of system to the one Reid used against Huddersfield during his time at Swansea City, it could be a formation that Forest stick with for the foreseeable future.

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Speaking to the Garibaldi Red Podcast, via Nottinghamshire Live, Prutton insisted that Lolley and Johnson are players that should be playing for top ten or six clubs. While he also backed the pair to be crucial performers for the Reds in turning their fortunes around.

He also suggested though that Johnson’s form and the fact he is attracting interest could become a double-edged sword for Forest.

He said: “That’s a top 10 if not top six pair of players that can create chances

“We know what Joe Lolley can do, and the great thing about Joe – having heard him speak about being a professional footballer at Forest – is that he gets it.

“He gets the responsibility, he gets what it means to the people who support the club he is playing for.

“I think the way Brennan plays football is fantastic. I think the interest that he is attracting is a double-edged sword for Forest.

“If he’s playing well, that’s great, but if somebody in January makes him a Premier League footballer then it makes things different.

“But I think we all know, especially off the back of the pandemic, where football finances stand, but its imperative that to get the best out of players you have the best team-mates around them.”

The verdict

You have to agree with Prutton here, both Lolley and Johnson were excellent for Nottingham Forest in their roles just behind Grabban in the win at Huddersfield Town last time out.

Cooper is a manager that has already shown that he likes to operate in a similar set-up to what Reid used with Nottingham Forest against Huddersfield.

At the moment if the former Swansea City boss opts for that formation in his first few games at the City Ground Lolley and Johnson have to play.

Lolley is facing a really important spell in his Nottingham Forest career now and he needs to continue to improve his game and get back towards his best form on a consistent basis now.

While Johnson just needs to continue to deliver the sort of performances he has been doing consistently for Forest all season even in their struggles under Hughton.

You can see both Lolley and Johnson being crucial members of Cooper’s side in the coming weeks and the pair could be vital in helping them transform the outlook of their campaign.

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