Nottingham Forest progressed to the next round of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 win over Bradford last night. A team full of youngsters showcased their class and swept aside the dogged League Two outfit.

The Reds now face Wolves at the City Ground in the next round. The Premier League outfit aren’t in European competition next season and are likely to take the competition seriously.

Following last night’s game, we looked at five things that seriously impressed us about the performance, as Chris Hughton’s young guns progressed in the competition.

Young Forest guns

When the team sheet emerged, some supporters might have been sceptical. A back four made up entirely of academy graduates, with Tobias Figueiredo as the senior option from the bench.

Nottingham Forest v Bradford City - Carabao Cup First Round
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Fin Back, Baba Fernandes, Riley Harbottle and Jayden Richardson did themselves proud. The two central defenders did go off injured, but the full-backs were particularly good.

Tyrese Fornah and Ateef Konate also managed 90 minutes in the side and Gary Brazil must have been brimming with pride sat in the Main Stand.

Philip Zinckernagel

This was, of course, a game against League Two opposition but the on-loan Watford man looks like a shrewd loan signing already.

The 26-year-old was finding space despite being placed in tight areas and managed to claim two assists on the night.

His left foot looks akin to a SatNav, and the club’s strikers will surely relish the chance to link up with him this season.

Zinckernagel helped the Hornets win promotion last season and Forest’s creativity did waver somewhat when he was substituted last night.

On this performance, the Reds have themselves a real player.

Winning breeds confidence

Yes, it was League Two outfit Bradford City and yes, it was the Carabao Cup. But, let’s not detract from the fact that Forest needed this win.

You have to go back to April and Easter Monday to last find a Forest win. The Reds beat QPR at the City Ground and it’s been a long wait since.

This win should give the team some confidence and they’ll want to take the performance into Saturday when Bournemouth arrive on Trentside.

Forest have to find a winning formula and this was a positive step.

Jayden Richardson

Fornah claimed the Man of the Match accolade but Richardson would have been a worthy contender for the award.

He was deployed out of position at left-back but didn’t let anyone down, enjoying a really solid full debut for the Reds.

Nottingham Forest v Bradford City - Carabao Cup First Round
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Although at times it was evident he wasn’t a natural in the position, he did more than enough to suggest he’s a capable performer.

Richardson got forward with ease and very nearly scored in the second half, scuffing a shot into the side-netting after a lung-busting run.

The 20-year-old has thrust himself into contention to play on Saturday.

Joao Carvalho

Nobody divides opinion quite like the Portuguese magician. Last night, he did all he could, however, to showcase his worth to Hughton.

His second goal was mesmeric, controlling the ball with one touch and slotting it past Richard O’Donnell with the other to give Forest a two-goal lead.

Nottingham Forest v Bradford City - Carabao Cup First Round
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Some will point to the fact that he should be capable of performing against Bradford. Others will suggest that he’s now got to be in Hughton’s thoughts.

Only time will tell what the boss thinks.

Have something to tell us about this article?