Joao Carvalho was withdrawn by Nottingham Forest on Wednesday less than 10 minutes before Hull City were reduced to 10 men.

He may have fancied his chances against depleted opponents, but had done little to deserve an extended show of faith.

The Portuguese found his number was up – quite literally – on the hour mark.

His contribution to that point was minimal at best.

Sabri Lamouchi had placed trust in the £13 million man, with calls having grown for a club-record signing to be deployed in what is supposed to be his favoured position.

The man with the No.10 shirt was wanted in that role.

A position where he is supposed to pull the strings, find space between the lines and make those around him tick.

An enigmatic talent is yet to convince that he can become a talismanic one.


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

Patience is starting to wear thin with some.

At times he tries too much, others not enough.

Against Hull there was little middle ground, Carvalho was either running straight into opponents, allowing the ball to run under his boot and out of play or staying safe with five-yard passes.

There was no spark.

He ran around a lot, but much of that energy can feel like a token gesture – a burst towards an opponent only to slam on the brakes when the time comes to actually make a tackle or block.

Was he the only one to disappoint against the Tigers and contribute towards the end result? Definitely not.

Joe Lolley endured another one of those evenings.

One where blind alleys or brick walls are his destination of choice, rather than the avenues of opportunity which have often been his calling card.



Tiago Silva was bright at times, but blunted on the whole.

And Sammy Ameobi must surely be sweating on his starting berth.

Those supposed to pose problems have become one themselves.

Matty Cash, who offered Forest a straw to clutch at, showed others how it should be done when it comes to persistence and desire in the final third.

Carvalho and Co should be taking notes.

Will the Portuguese be selected from the off again when Reading roll into town on Saturday for a game which has suddenly taken on added importance?

Back-to-back defeats are not the end of the world, but a wobble cannot become a rut.

Some big decisions lie in store, and a big performance is now required.

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