Nottingham Forest secured a morale-boosting victory over Wigan Athletic yesterday; with goals from Joe Lolley, Matty Cash and Adlene Guedioura handing the Reds a 3-1 win.
Forest closed the gap on the top six to four points by defeating Paul Cook’s outfit, ensuring a first win for Martin O’Neill in the process.
It was a vastly improved performance from Forest, who will need to put together a few similar results if they are to gatecrash the playoffs.
It has been a tough few weeks for the Reds who have overseen another managerial change; although this win offered hope that better times are on the horizon.
Following the win, Seat Pitch rated the Forest performance as follows…
Costel Pantilimon 7
The Romanian stopper will have been disappointed to let Josh Windass’ effort ripple into the net, but this was an improved performance.
The former Manchester City man produced a quality save from Joe Garner’s penalty late on and followed up with an even better save on the rebound.
Saidy Janko 6
Not the best performance from the Swiss defender who seems to have the odd lapse in concentration in his locker.
Occasionally looks like an assured defender but this wasn’t a performance to remember for Janko.
Yohan Benalouane 8
The Tunisian defender already looks like a sound addition to the Forest squad.
The 31-year-old cleared everything that was thrown at him against Wigan and the former Leicester man already looks like being a big player for the Reds.
Jack Robinson 8
The 25-year-old was solid throughout the contest and created a formidable partnership with Benalouane.
Robinson’s versatility to play at either left-back or central defence is proving a useful asset.
Ben Osborn 7
Kept things simple and played one of his better games in an unfamiliar left-back role.
Osborn was a driving force down the left-hand side and linked up especially well with Joe Lolley.
Ben Watson 7
Watson returned to action following several months playing barely any football at all.
Although his inclusion in the team was somewhat surprising, he kept things ticking over and enjoyed a decent performance against his former club.
Jack Colback 7
Colback collected his tenth yellow card of the campaign which means he will miss the Reds’ next two matches.
Was targeted by Wigan who clearly identified him as the man to get things going for Forest and that led to a somewhat frustrating afternoon for the midfielder.
Adlene Guedioura 8
The Algerian was back to his best against Wigan on an afternoon where he helped himself to a typically emphatic goal.
The challenge for Guedioura is to find this performance level on a more consistent basis now.
Matty Cash 9 – SEAT PITCH STAR MAN
A stunning performance from Cash who thrived in a more familiar right-wing berth.
Netted Forest’s second goal and was a constant menace in attack for the Reds on an afternoon where his energy shone through.
Joe Lolley 8
Lolley scored Forest’s opener and looked much more like the Lolley that lit up the Championship earlier in the campaign.
Playing Lolley on the left-hand side paid dividends for boss O’Neill and the experiment to play him on the right last week should now be extinguished permanently.
Daryl Murphy 6
A frustrating afternoon for the Irish striker who was hooked in the second half.
Held the ball up really well but didn’t really get a sniff of goal as the Latics defenders kept him at bay.
Lewis Grabban 6 (Murphy 72′)
Claudio Yacob 6 (Guedioura 81′)
Unused: Steele, Yates, Carvalho, Appiah, Goncalves