Nottingham Forest were beaten at Coventry on Sunday but two players did at least offer some optimism for the season ahead.
Chris Hughton’s team were beaten in the final seconds at the Coventry Building Society Arena. Forest had gone in at half-time 1-0 up but the Sky Blues roared back to claim victory at the death.
The boss started both Alex Mighten and Brennan Johnson for the game, with neither of the young duo disappointing.
One aspect of their performance could prove vital during the course of the next nine months.
The two players were fouled a combined 11 times, according to Who Scored. Johnson won six free-kicks, with Mighten winning five for the Reds.
With that in mind, Forest would be wise to perhaps add a dead-ball specialist into their ranks. The Reds couldn’t make the most of their set-pieces at the weekend and that provides Hughton with a conundrum.
Mighten and Johnson were both superb on Sunday. Both players were probing and constantly trying to go past their markers.
If Forest are going to continue with a pragmatic approach, they need the likes of Johnson and Mighten to get the team moving high up the pitch.
Bright future: Mighten and Johnson must be kept
If the game at Coventry did throw up any positive at all it was the form of Forest’s academy pairing.
The Reds duo were in decent form and although they both tired late on, they proved constant menaces for the Coventry defenders.
Johnson and Mighten can win Forest plenty of free-kicks this season and having dangerous players like that can only bode well.
The challenge for the Reds now is to start taking advantage of such situations.
Joe Lolley was typically tasked with set=piece duty on Sunday and he wasn’t overly successful on them.
If Hughton can find a dead-ball specialist then Forest could score an abundance of goals from such situations during the 2021/22 campaign.