Nottingham Forest Under-23s defeated Blackburn Rovers 4-1 at Meadow Lane last night. Andy Reid’s team were excellent throughout and goals from Joe Lolley (2), Ateef Konate and Will Swan ensured a comprehensive victory.

The Reds’ young guns experienced a pretty routine night. Reid named a relatively experienced team and it showed against a relatively young Blackburn side.

Following a first win in the Premier League Cup for Forest, we looked at three things worthy of note from the contest.

4-3-what?

Curiously, Reid started the game with his team lined up in a 4-3-3 system. The reason for the intrigue is that typically academies will adopt the same setup as the first team, ensuring a smoother transition for when players make the step up.

Nottingham Forest v AFC Bournemouth - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

That doesn’t look evident in Reid’s ranks, however, He started the game with Joe Lolley on the right, Alex Gibson-Hammond on the left, with Julian Larsson playing through the middle.

It gave Forest a dimension that Blackburn couldn’t cope with and placed the team on the front foot from the off.

The Reds faithful would welcome the first team trying something similar and Chris Hughton might have been an interested spectator last night.

Back a born leader

Young Fin Back continues to see his stock go through the roof. After impressing for the first team, he was back in under-23 action last night, with Reid naming him captain.

 

The right-back has got a first taste of senior football this season. He came on a substitute against Blackburn and started games in the cup against Bradford and at Stoke in the Championship.

Last night he lined up at right-back and was impressive. He flew into tackles, bombed forward to assist with attacks and looked like a player who is full of confidence.

The future is bright for Forest’s new kid on the block.

Mbe Soh could be massive for Forest

Alongside Lolley, another first-team player who got himself a game was the French central defender. Since checking in from PSG he has struggled for game time but he does look like a quality player.

Coventry City v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
COVENTRY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 08: Loic Mbe Soh of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Nottingham Forest at The Coventry Building Society Arena on August 8, 2021 in Coventry, England. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Mbe Soh stood firm as the Forest rearguard was breached just once against Blackburn. Alongside Baba Fernandes, he played exceptionally well and Reds fans will hope he returns to the first-team fold soon.

At 20, the future looks bright and he’ll hope for more minutes as the season progresses.

The Forest under-23s are next in action when they travel to Reading on Sunday afternoon

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