Words and statistics provided by Christian Brown
Nottingham Forest brought some festive jeer to the Christmas period on Boxing Day, with the Reds limping to a 0-0 draw against an abject Birmingham City side.
Chances were very much at a premium for both teams, with Ryan Yates coming closest for Forest in the first half when his perfectly connected volley flew straight at Neil Etheridge.
Ivan Sanchez had Birmingham’s best chance when he roamed into the Forest box and cut onto his left, but while his effort was parried into a dangerous area by Brice Samba, there were no takers.
Forest did muster another opening late on when Tobias Figueiredo of all people forced Etheridge into a fine stop, but an atrocious game finished with the points being shared.
Chris Hughton’s side are now unbeaten in three and have conceded just one goal in that time, but that is little solace after a woeful display against a side who didn’t really try and win the game.
In the aftermath of a disappointing afternoon on Trentside, here are our player ratings.
Brice Samba – 5
One of his easiest clean sheets of the season with the Congo stopper having very little to do, although his distribution seemed unusually off against the Blues.
Cyrus Christie – 5
His heavy touch resulted in turnover of possession a few times and complete with some elementary errors, he never really looked comfortable over the duration of the game.
Tobias Figueiredo – 4
Had a delayed Christmas gift when he was surprisingly restored to the first team ahead of Loic Mbe Soh, but didn’t exactly repay that. Struggled against Scott Hogan, was reckless on the ball, one missed header nearly led to a Birmingham chance…why do Forest persist with him?
Joe Worrall – 6
Cleared everything that came his way and did his job responsibilities very well. Even turned into a winger late on, when his drop of the shoulder allowed him to find Figueiredo on the edge of the box for a chance.
Yuri Ribeiro – 5
Subpar performance from a normally very reliable outlet, though he did cover well in central positions when he had to. Booked.
Samba Sow – 6
Battled and broke up play really well, it’s no surprise that Birmingham didn’t create anything of note while he was on the pitch – although at times, his passing was a bit off.
Ryan Yates – 6
The sort of game that suited him as with respect, the midfield battle was more about effort, workrate and energy rather than outright ability. Ball retention was much better than against Millwall and was also unlucky not to score – one of Forest’s better performers on the day. Booked.
Sammy Ameobi – 2
Absolutely awful from start to finish – misplaced passes, poor touches and a lack of desire to chase balls. Genuinely performed to a degree where it felt like Forest had 10 men at times. Was lucky not to be hooked sooner.
Cafu – 5
Much like against Millwall, he was specifically targeted and didn’t take too kindly to it, but unlike in London, Cafu didn’t really have an impact on the game and lacked composure on the ball whenever he had it.
Alex Mighten – 5
Showed glimpses of his ability and put a shift in, but Birmingham’s physicality meant he spent a lot of time on the deck and couldn’t really influence proceedings that much.
Lewis Grabban – 5
Rough day at the office for Grabban as again, he had absolutely zero service from those behind him, but equally, his level of performance was poor by his standards. Booked.
Lyle Taylor (Sow, 61) – 5
Came on to partner Grabban rather than play instead of, but the two never really had the service to join up. Huffed and puffed, but nothing really fell right for him.
Anthony Knockaert (Ameobi, 61) – 5
Probably the only Forest footballer who looked capable of playing football to Championship standard when he came on, but while he was constantly looking for the ball, it never went his way.
Joe Lolley (Mighten, 68) – 5
Similar to Knockaert, Lolley looked bright when he came on, but also got none of the ball and no real opportunity to showcase what we all know he can do.