As the Nottingham Forest players lay crestfallen on the City Ground turf on Sunday, one positive did at least emerge for Chris Hughton.

The Reds were beaten 1-0 by Swansea City to ensure three defeats on the trot and a trio of games without a Forest goal.

Grasping for positives right now is difficult, with the Reds in a rut. One did become evident during the Swansea game, however.

Nottingham Forest v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

It involves Scott McKenna and the fact he wore the captain’s armband for the majority of the contest highlights a role he could play moving forward.

The former Aberdeen man has been head and shoulders above any Forest player this term. He deserves more clean sheets for his efforts and his commitment to the cause hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Forest are desperately lacking in leaders right now. Jack Colback and Lewis Grabban have both led the side this season – with supporters uncertain of their ability to perform the role.

McKenna could be tailor-made for the position on a long-term basis and as a result, Hughton should trust him with the role permanently.

Right now, he is the only player who is pretty much guaranteed his position in the team. Brice Samba is arguably just behind him in that sense.

Signed for £3 million in the summer, the left-footed warrior has been a revelation at the heart of the Forest back four.


Alongside Joe Worrall when he returns to fitness, the Reds could have a central defensive partnership that could become a mainstay for years at the City Ground.

Natural-born leader

It’s taken McKenna just 11 games to don the armband at Forest but he does seem like the strongest candidate.

Although he’s only just turned 24, he is experienced when it comes to big-match situations.

Notts Forest v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

He’s earned 17 outings for the Scotland national team, enjoyed memorable games against Celtic and Rangers, whilst he has almost 150 senior appearances to his name.

At a time when Forest’s recruitment has been nothing short of diabolical, McKenna is proving a rose among plenty of thorns.

Nothing against Colback and Grabban but right now they both need to focus on getting fit and getting back to their best.

The strap has clearly impacted on their performances but McKenna is a real leader of men and one who doesn’t seem fazed by anything.

Moving forward, Hughton would be wise to place his faith in the summer signing when it comes to captaining the team for the foreseeable.

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