Nottingham Forest took one calculated gamble on Tuesday night and another may be required when it comes to Lewis Grabban on Saturday.

The Reds were without their 16-goal top scorer against Charlton.

An untimely knock kept him stuck on the sidelines.

With the 32-year-old having been forced to sit out training, the decision was taken to avoid any unnecessary risks.

A few were taken, though, by Sabri Lamouchi.

On the back of a rousing victory over Leeds, five alterations were made to the starting XI for a home date with the Addicks.

A decision which always felt like being either a masterstroke or madness proved to the latter.

Forest flopped badly in a disjointed 1-0 defeat.

Lamouchi held his hands up afterwards.

Not for the first time this season, the Frenchman admitted to getting his selection wrong.

He had been backed into a corner in some ways.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

With no Grabban available, Tyler Walker had to be asked to lead the line.

Nuno Da Costa was the only viable alternative to have on the bench.

Samba Sow and Sammy Ameobi were also said to be nursing niggles.

As a result, they were left out entirely against Charlton.

The absence of established stars in a settled system hit harder than few could have predicted.

Lamouchi clearly believed that shuffling his pack would not result in cards scattered all over the floor.

He is still in the process of picking them up.

More big decisions are coming his way in what remains a relentless slog in the English second tier.

Next up for Forest is Championship table-toppers West Brom.

If one eye was being kept on that outing in midweek, it has full focus now.

It is safe to assume that there will be no more experiments at The Hawthorns.



Who, though, could come back into contention?

Lamouchi has said in the Nottingham Post: “It’s much better for Samba Sow and Ameobi. But for Grabban, he will make the first and last session [on Friday].

“It’s a big test for him and for us. Some of them could return, probably.”

If Sow is anywhere close to match sharpness, then a place in the engine room will be his.

Adama Diakhaby did a decent impression of Ameobi against the Addicks, but the latter has shown himself to be capable of delivering greater end product.

Which leaves us with Grabban.

If he really is unable to drag tired limbs onto the field, then there is little Forest can do.

If there is a chance of getting 60 minutes-plus out of him, though, then he has to start – especially with Da Costa having been forced off while on U23 duty.

Once the final whistle blows on Saturday, there is a full seven-day window of recovery before the Reds are in action again.

Get through one more outing and then put your feet.

Roll the dice one more time and hope your numbers come up.

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