Nottingham Forest took a calculated gamble on Nuno Da Costa during the January transfer window, but have seen injury restrict him to just 20 minutes.

Said action was taken in during the 1-0 defeat to Charlton.

Hardly a debut to be remembered fondly.

Da Costa, despite making his bow for the Reds, will want to forget that outing as quickly as the rest of us.

The 29-year-old striker is, however, being denied the opportunity to make more happy memories.

He was always going to have to be eased into the fold on Trentside.

When snapped up from Strasbourg, he had been without competitive minutes since before Christmas.

To hit the ground running in new surroundings was a big ask.

That, though, is what Forest needed midway through a Championship promotion push.

In an effort to get Da Costa up to speed, he was involved in an U23 clash with Crewe.

Pain

(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Once again, as against the Addicks, he failed to see half-an-hour of football.

Sabri Lamouchi has said in the Nottingham Post: “He had some pain.

“It was his first start in a while, and there was the weather and the effect that had on the pitch.

“He felt a bit of pain, but he won’t be out for a long time – just one week, two maximum.

“I hope he will be ready for Cardiff or Middlesbrough. He needs to be ready to help us, like all the players.”

In truth, Forest do not ‘need’ Da Costa to be firing on all cylinders.

Lewis Grabban remains the go-to man in the final third of the field.

The decision was taken to bring Tyler Walker back from a loan spell at Lincoln with the intention of giving him regular game time.

An academy graduate can expect to be favoured over a rookie in the English game.

Da Costa, even when fit, has a serious fight on his hands.

Impression

 

He will know as much.

The Cape Verde international also knows that his current situation is doing him few favours.

Any signing, at any club, wants to make a positive first impression.

Flying starts are the order of the day.

Da Costa’s has been a little rocky, to say the least.

It is virtually impossible to pass judgement on him at this stage.

Time is still on his side.

The clock is ticking in 2019-20, though, if an impact of any kind is going to be made.

Clambering off the treatment table is the first item on the agenda.

After that, Da Costa needs to convince Lamouchi and the rest of those around him at the City Ground that he can be more than a roll of the dice in what became a rather frenetic search for striking reinforcements.

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