Lewis Grabban underlined his value to Nottingham Forest once again in a very timely 2-0 victory over Hull City on Boxing Day.
The Reds needed inspiration from somewhere after going five games without a win.
A late Christmas present was delivered by a reliable source wearing red and white.
Grabban had also been on target the last time three points were collected away at QPR.
He then secured a point after stepping off the bench to bag a brace in a 2-2 draw with Millwall.
With Forest out on the road again, a 31-year-old frontman stepped up yet again.
Only twice – against Norwich and Rotherham in 2018-19 – has Grabban netted in a losing cause.
If he hits the back of the net, then the Reds tend to take something.
Which is a most welcome record given the strike rate boasted by one of the best in the business.
Grabban’s efforts stand up against some of the finest forwards to have graced the City Ground in recent times.
Since signing in the summer of 2018, 28 goals have been recorded in 62 league outings.
That return leaves him just two short of the 30 Britt Assombalonga managed in 65 Championship appearances.
Robert Earnshaw only hit 35 in 98 second tier games for the Reds.
The hope is that Grabban will start following in even more illustrious footsteps.
Forest’s long wait for a 20-goal striker in the David Johnson, Pierre van Hooijdonk and Stan Collymore mould is well documented.
We are hitting the 17-year mark there.
A suitable heir to those thrones has been found.
Grabban is currently ticking over at one goal every 166.89 minutes.
That puts him above Earnshaw (172.55) and just behind Assombalonga (143).
Forest’s No.7 does trump a former No.9 when it comes to conversion, though, with Grabban hitting the target with roughly every fifth attempt.
His rate is 22.22, with Assombalonga edged out on 21.74.
Grabban boasts that most sought-after quality – the one where you expect him to score every time he takes to the field.
Sabri Lamouchi has bought into that since arriving on Trentside.
He said in the Nottingham Post after witnessing another match-winning showing at the KCOM Stadium: “Grabban is our leader, our striker and he can make the difference.
“He’s a fantastic player, a fantastic man and he deserved to score. He was the man of the match today but the whole team deserved the victory.”
Having become something of an away day star this season, the challenge now is to get Grabban in the groove on home soil.
Back-to-back outings at the City Ground are approaching against Wigan and Blackburn.
A couple of efforts in those fixtures and Grabban will match Assombalonga’s entire contribution to the Forest cause, with the promise of much more to come!