Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton believes Joao Carvalho gives the team confidence after the Portuguese performer scored twice in the Carabao Cup last night.
The ex-Benfica man came in from the cold last night to fire the Reds past Bradford with a quick-fire first-half brace.
Carvalho spent last season on loan at Almeria. Various factors saw him play very little football and it’s been a tough 18 months for the 24-year-old Forest trickster.
Last night he completed the full 90 minutes in a Forest shirt for quite some time. He could do no more and afterwards, Hughton was quizzed on the attacker.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “He scored two really good goals. One thing we spoke about after last season was getting goals. They were very good goals.
“Whatever the game and whatever the level, that gives the team confidence when you are scoring goals.”
Carvalho was signed for a club-record £13 million back in 2018. He enjoyed some success during the first half of 2018/19 but was shunted down the pecking order once Martin O’Neill arrived at the club.
Since then, the player has never really recovered at Forest. Sabri Lamouchi didn’t really fancy him and last season he was loaned to Spain.
He’s now back at the City Ground and looking to prove a point. With Hughton having few forward options to choose from, there could be more chances for Carvalho around the corner.
Can Carvalho earn Forest reprieve under Hughton?
All the Portuguese player can continue to do is keep performing as he did last night. He was in fine form and put in a real shift for the team.
His two goals should have given him real confidence and now he needs to kick on and do it on a more frequent basis.
Hughton will probably revert to Brennan Johnson in the No.10 role on Saturday but Carvalho should get more opportunities.
No player divides opinion on Trentside quite like the 24-year-old and the challenge for him now is to find some consistency.
If he does that, the critics will soon go silent.