Nottingham Forest head to Cardiff City tomorrow night looking to end a run of three games without a win in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Reds have drawn twice and lost at home to Charlton Athletic since beating Leeds 2-0 earlier this month.

Automatic promotion is off the radar for now as far as Forest are concerned and they badly need a win to try and cement their play-off push.

Saturday’s 0-0 draw was frustrating. Forest had a goal disallowed which would have seen them head to Wales tomorrow night third in the league.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Despite that, there were certainly some positives during the QPR stalemate. One of which came in the form of Joao Carvalho’s 12-minute cameo from the bench.

The £13.2 million record signing entered the fray for his first appearance for a few weeks and looked surprisingly sharp.

One of the criticisms that has been thrown at Carvalho by his cynics is that he doesn’t do enough considering how much Forest paid for him.

Another is that he is lightweight but on Saturday he worked hard to win the ball back; whilst he kept things moving forward for Forest as they went in search of a winner.


Take valuation out of the equation for a moment and Carvalho hasn’t been dealt a great hand this season.

He missed the whole of pre-season after a robust challenge in Forest’s first pre-season friendly saw him sustain ankle ligament damage.

Carvalho has since been playing catch-up with Sabri Lamouchi deciding where he fits best into his system.

At times the 22-year-old has looked off the pace but that’s not really been without reason.

Saturday’s cameo suggested that he is desperate to force his way back into Lamouchi’s regular thinking and he will want to play against Cardiff.

One thing that Carvalho does offer is an attack-minded approach. His first thought is always a forward pass and that creative mindset has been lacking this season.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

His presence on the pitch would ease some of the pressure on Joe Lolley and Sammy Ameobi out wide.

Cardiff are a big physical outfit and although that might not suit Carvalho, the Reds need to find the way to goal.

Aden Flint will probably line up for the Bluebirds against Forest tomorrow and last season he was tormented by Carvalho when he was playing for Middlesbrough.

The youngster has been out of proceedings for too long and Lamouchi would be wise to hand him a chance to impress from the start at Cardiff.

Related Topics