Nottingham Forest will face Bristol City this weekend looking to edge closer towards the top of the Sky Bet Championship. The Reds are currently above Lee Johnson’s team by virtue of goal difference.
Forest will hope to perform better than they did during the first game after the last international break when they were beaten 1-0 by Wigan Athletic.
That game saw Sabri Lamouchi rest several of his better players and it was a decision that he was ultimately left to rue.
The Robins have gone through their last four games unbeaten and will provide Forest with a stern test.
On Saturday the Reds will come face to face with a man who could have been playing for Forest this season.
Callum O’Dowda was firmly on Martin O’Neill’s list of transfer targets before he left the club in June.
The winger had worked with the former Forest incumbent for the Republic of Ireland national team. Forest were among a clutch of clubs reportedly vying for his signature during the summer.
O’Dowda has been a regular in the team this season. He has played on the left-wing and as a number 10 but has only contributed one assist so far during the campaign.
Forest will hope to keep O’Dowda out of the game on Saturday. Although he doesn’t necessarily chip in with lots of goals or assists, he is pretty decent when it comes to bringing others into the game.
The man with 15 caps for his country would have perhaps been a similar signing to Sammy Ameobi. Although O’Dowda isn’t as much of a trickster, he does offer a similar sort of presence in a wide role.
In his 115 appearances for the Robins, he has scored just seven goals and registered 15 assists. That hardly makes him prolific and rather than spending heavily, the Reds were perhaps more savvy in landing Ameobi and Albert Adomah.
Since Forest’s interest, O’Dowda has penned a new three-year deal at Ashton Gate, highlighting his desire to continue improving with Bristol City.
Few can argue with how Forest’s summer recruitment drive went, with several signings already making an impact on the pitch.
With the Robins holding ambitions of promotion, it is fair to suggest that the Republic of Ireland international must start to weigh in with more goal contributions.
O’Neill’s departure pretty much curtailed any aspirations Forest had of landing the Bristol City man and they haven’t lived to rue that decision just yet.
The Reds will hope the decision doesn’t come back to haunt them this weekend when the two sides go head-to-head.