Nottingham Forest defeated Preston North End on Saturday and Jack Colback firmly silenced his long-term critics.

The combative midfielder has been like a new signing under Steve Cooper, with the head coach handing him a starring role.

Colback scored a scrumptious volley just before half-time at the weekend and he’s now got two in his last three outings.

Clearly, he’s not on the pitch for his goalscoring prowess. Cooper will be happy, however, that various players are weighing in with goals.

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

Last season proved a struggle for Colback. He spent the 2019/20 campaign out with injury and he struggled to replicate the form he showed on loan at Forest.

It didn’t help that Chris Hughton tried to utilise him alongside Ryan Yates in an ultra-defensive partnership earlier this season.

That had led to many suggesting that the pair couldn’t play together, although both players are making a mockery of that notion just now.

 

Some statistics from Saturday’s win for Forest showcase Colback’s emergence from the City Ground shadows.

Alongside his goal, he also made three tackles, completed three interceptions and hacked away four clearances (Who Scored).

He was sound in possession too. Colback attempted 33 passes with a success rate of almost 85%.

Class is permanent: Colback proves his worth to silence Forest critics

The 32-year-old is seemingly enjoying his football once again and long may it continue.

Good players don’t suddenly become bad ones overnight and like many other Forest players, Colback is now thriving in a more attack-minded system.

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

The Forest midfielder did struggle when called upon last season. That was to be expected though after so long without regular action.

Now he’s proving what a class act he is and Cooper will hope he has more performances akin to his efforts against Preston firmly in the locker.

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