Former Nottingham Forest man Tom Ince is set to miss out on the midweek clash against Luton Town, if the Hatters’ revival is anything to go by.
Luton were 2-0 down at half-time to Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend, but they turned it around completely in the second half to win 3-2.
At the break, Luton boss Nathan Jones made three subs – one of which was Ince – and changed their shape, something which he felt had to be done after an embarrassing first 45.
“It couldn’t have been any worse in the second half whatever happened,” Jones said to Luton’s club website post match.
“I knew I was going to get a reaction. We were totally inept first half, got out-battled all over the pitch, out worked.
“Every time they turned the ball over, we were nowhere near and it looked like they should have been further ahead.
“It could have been more, so second half we changed something. We had a real calculated chat and figured out what to do.
“I went with a bit more of what I know, what is tried and trusted at this football club, what has got this football club two promotions and retention in the Championship and what’s done really well this year and they responded again.”
Given Luton’s success having subbed Ince, who is yet to register a goal or an assist for the club since signing on loan from Stoke City in January, it seems unlikely that he will start against Forest.
In 2014, Forest signed Ince on loan from Hull City, but the move didn’t work out at all and in six games, Ince had little to no impact before being recalled.
Interestingly, Ince seemed to believe he had performed exceptionally well to the point that he was one of the club’s better players – a point he made when he signed for Forest’s main rivals, Derby County.
“Forest had a great start to the season and then they went on a bit of a bad run,” Ince said to the Derby Telegraph [February 3, 2015].
“I went into the side knowing that. I started the first few games and got man-of-the-match in a few of them but then found myself not playing.
“It got to a point where I thought, without sounding bad, ‘what have I come here for’. In the beginning I thought the move was the right thing and at the end you think ‘OK. I will learn from it’.
“These things happen in football. It is not always an easy road, you know there will be rocky times.”
The notion that Ince was man-of-the-match even once was a surprise to just about everyone at Forest, let alone several times, but it hasn’t stopped Ince being a thorn in the Reds’ side since.
Ince has played eight league matches against Forest since his loan spell, scoring once and assisting three times, while he was also on the pitch in the now infamous 4-1 defeat to Stoke at the end of the 19/20 season.
However, it appears as if that he won’t cause Forest any further damage – at least from the start – when the Reds host Luton on Tuesday.
Is Nottingham Forest’s task against Luton Town made easier without Tom Ince starting?