Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton managed to pair Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna together for the second time in a league game on Saturday.
After both players starred last week in the FA Cup against Cardiff, Hughton opted to stick with the pairing against Millwall.
It proved to be a combination that didn’t disappoint and some statistics back up the reliability of the partnership.
McKenna and Worrall coped desperately well with the threat of a typically physical Millwall team.
Who Scored confirm that the young duo made no fewer than seven clearances during Saturday’s game.
Interestingly, the duo had a lot of success when it came to playing out from the back too.
Worrall finished the game with a pass success ratio of 87% from his 46 passes, with McKenna completing 85.4% of his 41 passes.
It seems clear that Hughton wants his defenders to be able to play out from the back.
The two statistics work quite well in tandem though and suggest that both Worrall and McKenna are intelligent defenders.
Both players showcased on Saturday the modern-day ability to play out from the back and the old-fashioned aspect of knowing when to clear their lines.
Forest have a plethora of options at the back but despite the partnership in its early stages, McKenna and Worrall look tailor-made for each other.
Having a right-footed centre-back next to someone boasting a natural left-footed instinct brings so much balance.
Tobias Figueiredo has looked out of sorts all too often this season, whilst Loic Mbe Soh is one of the future.
Michael Dawson, it would seem, is way down the pecking order.
Calm and composed
All too often in recent seasons Forest have looked flustered far too often defensively.
Even last season when the Reds enjoyed a decent first half of the campaign, there was the occasional blip.
Millwall ran riot on Trentside, Sheffield Wednesday were 4-0 up at half-time and other teams caused Forest problems.
A really pleasing aspect of Worrall alongside McKenna is that the composure intensified.
Both players looked comfortable next to each other and remained calm even when Millwall pressed hard in the second half.
Both players are at an age where they can still improve and in Worrall’s case, Forest must resist the urge to cash in on the defender.
Saturday was a good day for many reasons but none were perhaps as satisfying as the performances by Worrall and McKenna.
Forest will hope it’s just the start of a partnership that could thrive for years to come at the City Ground.