Nottingham Forest have seven games left to take in this season and Jack Colback will not figure in all of them.

That is a rather unfortunate given.

At some point a combative 29-year-old will collect another booking.

And when the next yellow card is waved in his direction, he will be immediately stung with a three-match ban.

Very untimely, but par for the course.

Colback, after all, has 14 cautions to his name and is no stranger to a referee’s notebook.

It is also only a matter of weeks since he was last forced onto the sidelines.

After flying into a needless late challenge in a 3-1 win over Wigan, the on-loan midfielder served a two-match suspension.

Martin O’Neill said in the Nottingham Post at the time: “It is very, very annoying.

“In the 90th minute of the game when you have a two-goal lead? It might have been different had we been hanging on.

Competitive

(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Jack has done well and I know him from the past. He is very, very competitive. But you do not want to be picking up silly bookings along the way.

“In this day and age, now, you can pick up bookings almost at leisure. You have to be more careful.”

Colback has not heeded that advice.

In his eight outings since completing a ban, another four cards have been picked up.

Including a run of three in as many games since scoring in a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on March 13.

Reckless? Overeager?

Whatever your take, another selection poser is fast approaching.

Replacement

 

With that in mind, who should be filling in for Colback when he is inevitably ruled out of O’Neill’s plans once more?

Claudio Yacob, who could be considered unfortunate to be on the outside looking in at present, would be an obvious like-for-like replacement.

Take one pitbull out of the side and throw in another.

Adlene Guedioura could also get the nod, with there slightly more guile to his game.

That may be no bad thing with O’Neill’s favoured approach at present flooding the engine room with ball-winners rather than ball-players.

Perhaps there could be a slight tweak to the system and Joao Carvalho could be reintroduced to the starting XI.

These decisions will, however, be shaped by the opposition Forest are facing and their situation at the time.

Some potentially crucial contests are approaching, against the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Middlesbrough, and the Reds could do with being at full strength.

That may not be a luxury they are afforded.

The final few weeks of Colback’s second loan spell on Trentside will be disrupted at some stage, we just don’t know when.

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