Eric Lichaj will return to Nottingham Forest tonight and given the number of times he played for the Reds he should get a warm reception from the home crowd.
The current Hull City captain served Forest with relative distinction during his five years at the club, having signed on a free transfer back in 2013 from Aston Villa.
Lichaj didn’t exactly play for the Reds at a time when the club was blessed with lots of quality. Indeed, during his time as the regular right-back, Forest did come closer to playing in League One than they ever did the Premier League.
Of course, that wasn’t down to Lichaj. Catastrophic boardroom misdemeanours, a series of failed managers and several signings that flopped, all contributed towards the American not enjoying the most successful of times at Forest.
Not that you would ever know from Lichaj’s persona. In truth, he was a dedicated individual who genuinely looked like a man who cared about pulling on a Forest shirt. For that, he does deserve some credit at least.
His departure during the summer of 2018, however, is perhaps symbolic of Forest moving on as a football club.
Former boss Aitor Karanka was responsible for overseeing several personnel changes and many were for the better – Lichaj, it has to be said, included.
The right-back did a job wherever he was asked to for the Reds and he made 188 appearances for the football club, featuring in both full-back positions.
In another era Lichaj might not have played anywhere near as many games for Forest has he did, however, and things are now thankfully being done properly with regards to recruitment.
Last season Forest had Tendayi Darikwa, Sam Byram and Saidy Janko all play right-back at various times. All three, it is very fair to say, looked more competent than Lichaj.
This campaign an injury to Darikwa has seen Matty Cash forced to step into the role. On current form, it has to be said that the academy prospect looks like a very solid right-back in the making.
Forest have quickly moved on from Lichaj and so has he. Now the Tigers’ captain, the 30-year-old is still featuring regularly in the Championship.
Whilst he will always deserve a warm reception on Trentside, there will be little room for sentiment this evening. Forest need three points to climb into an automatic promotion place and the current crop of Reds stars will hope to send Lichaj home unhappy.