Nottingham Forest legend Garry Birtles has offered his support to striker Lyle Taylor, believing the summer signing has been unlucky.

Taylor has scored five goals in all competitions for Forest since he arrived from Charlton Athletic in the summer, making him the club’s top scorer.

But the arrival of 37-year-old Glenn Murray has potentially made Taylor the third choice forward, with Murray starting in the 3-0 win against Wycombe Wanderers ahead of Taylor and bagging a brace for good measure.

However, Birtles – who won the European Cup twice with Forest as a forward and scored 71 top flight goals for the club in two different spells – believes that Taylor still has a lot to offer at Forest and sympathises with him.

Garry Birtles
1979: Garry Birtles of Nottingham Forest in action during the European Cup Final match against Malmo played at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, West Germany. Nottingham Forest won the match 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Steve Powell/Allsport

“I think he’s been unfortunate,” Birtles said in a podcast for Nottinghamshire Live. “I think he’s very honest on the pitch. 

“He puts himself about and chases across the pitch. When I watch him, he doesn’t get a lot of service in the box, because he’s doing his best work outside the box chasing people.

“His honesty can go against him because he’s doing his best work outside the box and not getting in the positions to score goals.”

Lyle Taylor
Lyle Taylor of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Brentford at the City Ground, Nottingham on Saturday 12th December 2020. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The lack of service Taylor – and Lewis Grabban for that matter – has had is another issue.

Taylor’s last league goals came in the 2-0 win against Wycombe Wanderers, with the 30-year-old bagging a brace.

 

He started the next eight games without scoring, but was feeding off scraps throughout that run, which also coincided with Forest playing the entirety of the current top six one after the other.

Now January loan signing Filip Krovinovic is in the side joining up midfield and attack, supply has been much better for the attacking unit.

Birtles believes manager Chris Hughton has three different types of striker at his disposal, but hopes Taylor can show in training what he’s capable of as there will be opportunities for him to take.

Lyle Taylor
Lyle Taylor of Nottingham Forest celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Wycombe Wanderers at the City Ground, Nottingham on Saturday 7th November 2020. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“Lewis is a different player (to Taylor),” Birtles added. “He doesn’t have the most amount of touches in a game and that can be a bit infuriating.

“Chris has three strikers to choose from now and all three offer something different to upset a defence.

“Lyle should keep training well and prove he is worth his place. Glenn is 37 so he won’t play every game.”

Is Garry Birtles right about Lyle Taylor?

Have something to tell us about this article?