Nottingham Forest returned to winning ways and simultaneously boosted their automatic promotion hopes in the Championship as they beat Leeds United at the City Ground.
Sabri Lamouchi’s side produced one of their best displays of the season as they beat the Whites 2-0 on Saturday.
There’s no doubt that they full deserved the three points to move to within one point of their opponents.
As for Leeds, it was another below-par performance. Marcelo Bielsa’s side have taken just nine points from a possible 30 since mid-December.
One explanation for why they may have lost two of their last three games is due to the absence of Kalvin Phillips. He has been serving out a three game suspension after being sent off against Queens Park Rangers in January.
Lamouchi certainly believes that the Whites are missing the midfielder that the club reportedly value at £30 million (The Sun).
Speaking to Sky Sports Football after yesterday’s game, Lamouchi claimed that Leeds ‘made more mistakes’ than they would usually, due to Phillips not being in the side.
“(It was a) massive performance against a fantastic team,” Lamouchi told Sky Sports.
“Probably they made more mistakes than (they) usually (do).
“And also maybe with Phillips and without Phillips, they are not the same team. But we disturbed them without the ball and also with the ball.”
The Whites will be encouraged by the fact that Phillips returns from suspension for their trip to Griffin Park on Tuesday to face Brentford.
Forest will be hoping they can capitalise on any further slip-up by beating Charlton Athletic at the City Ground.
The Reds are certainly aware of the impact missing key players can have. Lamouchi’s men have struggled whenever Samba Sow has been unavailable this season.
This has never been more evident than it was last weekend in the defeat against Birmingham City which Sow missed due to injury.
Forest will need to keep all their key players fit for the remainder of the season to maintain their push for automatic promotion.