Sabri Lamouchi has already made some brave calls since taking the reins at Nottingham Forest, but the biggest is now being mulled over.

Since arriving on Trentside, the Frenchman has had to act swiftly and decisively.

He was given the vast majority of pre-season in which to cast an eye over those available to him, but has had to make some serious adjustments.

New to England, never mind English football, a steeping learning curve has been taken in.

He has had to learn on the job, fighting fires and shuffling his pack as he goes.

For the most part, any hurdle put in front of him has been cleared.

There was a stumble out of the blocks, but even then important lessons were taken.

Aro Muric’s flapping became an obvious cause for concern from game one, with something having to be done.

After four outings, one win and only a solitary clean sheet, action was taken.

Step forward Brice Samba.


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A sense of calm has been returned to the Reds’ defensive unit with a reliable presence slotted in between the sticks.

Another selection poser in that area has, however, presented itself.

The sight of Michael Dawson hobbling off at Stoke was unwelcome, to say the least.

Captain, leader, legend… but now lame.

What do we do?

Forest are hardly short on centre-half options, but this was an untimely setback that they could well do without.

Hitting top of the table and with optimism running high, stability was the order of the day.

Lamouchi had found that in Dawson and Joe Worrall.

Few when he arrived had that partnership picked out as their favoured one, but any doubters were soon silenced.

Lamouchi had trusted his gut and got an important decision right.



He later did the same with Samba, while Matty Cash has earned plenty of plaudits after being transformed from a winger into a right-back.

Alfa Semedo, Samba Sow and Alberto Adomah have been welcome additions to the ranks, while another may be about to get their big break.

Chema was introduced in place of Dawson at the best365 Stadium, having only previously figured in the Carabo Cup.

Is he the man Lamouchi will turn to in an hour of need?

If he is, then it is a big call and he has big boots to fill.

Forest had to mix things up in goal, were short of options at right-back and, in hindsight, two passionate home-grown stars really should flourish when paired together.

They were important decisions, but ones made with some assistance.

Filling a Dawson-shaped hole in the back four is not as straightforward.

It is, however, vital that Forest find the right solution if the defensive resilience restored to the ranks is to be maintained and a bright start built upon.

Lamouchi has earned plenty of trust, so here’s hoping his Midas touch continues until the Reds skipper has overcome a calf complaint.

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