Nottingham Forest ensured a share of the spoils against Bristol City despite playing for over half an hour with a man less.
The Reds were forced to dig in after Ryan Yates was sent off. His challenge on Adam Nagy wasn’t pretty and left the Reds needing to roll their sleeves up.
This season has seen Forest gain a new-found defensive resolve. Joe Worrall has been a mainstay but alongside him, the place has been up for grabs.
Michael Dawson played the first nine games next to the Forest youngster. He hasn’t featured since injuring his calf against Stoke in September, opening the door for someone else to stake a claim.
Chema Rodriguez and Tobias Figueiredo have rotated in the role since Dawson’s injury.
Boss Lamouchi will strive for consistency at some point with his back four. Dawson clearly started the season as the first choice, but he could now face a battle to get back in.
Rodriguez has taken to life in English football pretty well. His £1 million price tag looks a snip given the competence he has shown so far this season.
It just feels as though this might finally be Figueiredo’s time to shine, however.
The Portuguese defender has played the last three games. He has helped Forest to two wins, a draw and two clean sheets in tandem with Worrall. Alongside the academy graduate, the pair have kept four clean sheets in all competitions this season in the seven games they have played together.
Figueiredo was Aitor Karanka’s first signing in 2018. He checked in on loan from Sporting Lisbon where boss Jorge Jesus had completely ostracised him from the team.
He played 12 games for the Reds and looked solid as Forest avoided relegation. Figueiredo was signed permanently at the end of the season for £1.7 million (Nottinghamshire Live).
Last season proved a frustrating one. He formed a superb partnership with Dawson as the Reds went eight games unbeaten but spent most of the season out injured.
A dead leg suffered during a 1-0 loss to QPR in December turned out to be a torn thigh; Figueiredo wouldn’t be seen again until the final day of the season when he was an unused sub against Bolton.
The fact that the 25-year-old has won his place back is a testament to his character. He began the current campaign fourth choice central defender and must grasp this latest opportunity with both hands.
Worrall is a mainstay due to his current purple patch but the other place is up for discussion.
Figueiredo has the shirt right now but he will know that could soon change.
The challenge for the ex-Portugal youth international is to show Lamouchi that he is the man the partner Worrall in the long-term.
Dawson won’t be around forever and Figueiredo must see this as an opportunity to secure his future at the City Ground.