Nottingham Forest moved up to fourth in the Championship after beating 10-man Queens Park Rangers 4-0 at Loftus Road.
The Reds had their hopes of returning to the East Midlands with three points boosted just after half-time. Rangers were reduced to 10-men after Lee Wallace was dismissed for pulling down Joe Lolley.
Sabri Lamouchi’s men thoroughly deserved to secure all three points. The strength of the Frenchman’s squad was clear for all to see as two of his substitutes came on and found the back of the net in the second-half.
Both João Carvalho and Alfa Semedo made a very positive impact on proceedings. They’ll both be hoping they’ve done enough to force their way into Saturday’s starting line-up.
22-year-old Semedo was particularly impressive considering it was his first appearance since coming back from injury.
The Benfica loanee hadn’t featured for the Reds since the end of September against Barnsley. However, it didn’t take long for him to get back into his stride in this game.
The advantage that Semedo has is that there isn’t anyone else in the squad with his attributes.
The 22-year-old’s youthful energy and athleticism are very useful traits in the Championship. Lamouchi may be tempted to bring him in against a physical Cardiff City side at the weekend.
He could accommodate Semedo by moving Tiago Silva back into a more advanced role and dropping Albert Adomah back to the bench. This would allow Semedo to operate just in front of the back four alongside Ben Watson.
Of course, the more positive move would be to bring Carvalho in.
However, Lamouchi may be unwilling to take that sort of risk. Cardiff are likely to be a tough nut to crack.
Semedo’s driving runs through midfield could be exactly what the Reds need on Saturday.