Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has a problem staring him in the face ahead of Friday’s trip to West Brom – but Joe Lolley could be the man to dig him out of a hole.
The Reds lost Jack Coback last night. He was sent off for two yellow cards and now misses the trip to the West Midlands.
Had Forest been relying on his presence in midfield then Cooper might have been able to cope, with Ryan Yates, James Garner and Braian Ojeda all vying for places.
Sadly, Colback was doing a job at left-back last night and now Forest have a really big problem on their hands.
Max Lowe had been ruled out for eight weeks prior to kick-off and this was a great chance for Colback to stamp his authority on the position.
During his time on the pitch, he did a great job and coped well as part of a back four. When he went off, Gaetan Bong came on and ultimately, he’s short of the required quality.
That could lead Cooper to a bold selection call that could ultimately lead Forest to victory on Friday night.
Could Joe Lolley play left wing-back for Forest?
The 29-year-old works his socks off in most games but essentially, his game has changed somewhat during the past couple of seasons.
No longer is he the free-scoring, assist making forward that he was when he first checked in at the club.
These days, he still shows a tremendous amount of work rate and his ability to cross a football certainly hasn’t wavered.
Those attributes could make him tailor-made for a makeshift role at left wing-back for the next few weeks.
Furthermore, if Cooper does choose to go with his 3-4-3 then less emphasis is placed on the wing-backs defending quite so often.
Forest have the likes of Alex Mighten and Joao Carvalho who can come in and do a job in the final third, whilst Lolley performs a utility role.
Having Bong in the team for a prolonged period of time could be seriously detrimental to Forest’s season.
As a result, trying Lolley in a different position looks like a no-brainer from Cooper’s point of view.