There were plenty of positives for Nottingham Forest to take from a trip to Fulham, with Brice Samba definitely being one of them.

A Championship debut was made by the French goalkeeper at Craven Cottage.

His only previous minutes for the Reds had come in a Carabao Cup clash with Fleetwood.

He has been eased into the fold by Sabri Lamouchi.

Which is probably the right approach.

Adjusting to the demands of a new club, division, language and culture is never easy.

There did not appear to be any communication issues in west London.

Samba put in the kind of performance between the sticks that Forest have been crying out for.

Finding a reliable first name on the teamsheet has been something of an issue.

Costel Pantilimon’s record was impressive enough, but he failed to convince many.

Including Lamouchi, it would appear.


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

Forest were expected to freshen up their keeping ranks over the summer.

In the end, they added two options to the pot.

Aro Muric, arriving on a season-long loan from Manchester City, was first through the door and first into the side.

He was given pre-season in which to settle.

Unfortunately, questions were asked on a regular basis and continued into the start of competitive action.

Two costly errors on the opening day against West Brom did little to inspire confidence.

For Muric, those around him, in the dugout and the stands.

You got the sense that a tactical tweak in an important berth was a case of when, not if.

It duly arrived at Fulham.

Samba was rather thrown in at the deep end, with the Cottagers representing one of the tougher tests that will be faced on the road this season.

The 25-year-old will be disappointed not to have collected a clean sheet, but there is the promise of plenty of shut-outs to come.

Samba made five saves across 98 (where did that come from!) minutes in the capital.

A couple of those were decisive, athletic, encouraging stops.



Lamouchi said in the Nottingham Post afterwards: “Brice Samba, I put him in as goalkeeper for his experience, and he gave more confidence for our team.

“On Saturday it was a great result, so I was right. But sometimes the result is not there and I am wrong.”

The Reds tried to offer some encouragement to the man nudged down the pecking order.

He added: “Aro is young; he is only 20 years old. He has huge quality and he will play again, don’t worry about that.

“Just for this game, I needed more experience.”

One game may become a whole run.

Muric could get the nod against Derby on Tuesday, offering him the chance to offer an immediate response to a rival, but Samba must be favourite to fill the gloves at home to Preston.

Why drop him back out?

Forest have been crying out for an assured presence as their last line of defence.

A cure to a long-standing headache may have been found, so let’s start favouring stability and show the faith in Samba that his early displays deserve.

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