Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi decided to shuffle his pack for a trip to Millwall on Friday.

That is the second time this season that the Frenchman has sprung a surprise in his team selection.

Back in October, he did likewise away at Wigan.

On that occasion, Rafa Mir was drafted in to give Lewis Grabban a rest up front.

The same approach was taken at The Den.

Back at the DW Stadium, John Bostock started and Yuri Ribeiro took up a berth on the right wing.

During a visit to the capital, Lamouchi changed to three at the back.

Michael Dawson and Alfa Semedo were included from the off for the first time since shaking off knocks.

Grabban was joined on the bench by Joe Lolley and Joao Carvalho.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Forest, it is fair to say, appeared a little confused as a collective.

The rust of those lacking game time of late was clear for all to see.

Mir looked like a rabbit in the headlights and a creative spark was missing as those boasting those qualities in abundance filled spots among the substitutes.

On the back of a 1-0 defeat at Wigan, Lamouchi conceded that he got things wrong.

He said in the Nottingham Post: “Maybe I was wrong. I don’t think so, but maybe.

“I trust everyone, I have a lot of confidence in all my players. It was a tactical choice, but on the pitch, in the game, we missed a lot.”

It was refreshing to see the Reds boss hold his hands up.

He has shown himself to be a quick learner since arriving at the City Ground for a first taste of English football over the summer.

Eyebrows were being raised again versus Millwall.

Lamouchi found a way of claiming another positive result, but a 2-2 draw could have been much more had it not taken an hour for the right formula to be found.


He said in the Post after that contest: “Maybe I was wrong, but I am sure that we can play this system with these players, maybe we need more time to work on it.

“I probably didn’t get it right, because we changed after the break but the way we started the game wasn’t good, without make good passes, the second balls and the intensity we were so far between us.”

Two concessions of “maybe I was wrong”.

Forest will be hoping there is no hat-trick.

Lamouchi has, in a relatively short space of time, earned the right to do what he wants.

In Sabri we trust.

He has, however, found out the hard way on a couple of occasions that the Championship is an unforgiving beast.

Especially on the road.

Alternative options are definitely required in certain areas of the field, but more breaks before the turn of the year may be better handed out once tried and trusted have already done their job.

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