Nottingham Forest are motoring along just nicely under Steve Cooper and in Scott McKenna, the Reds have a player who deserves more credit.
The Reds were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Luton Town on Tuesday night. Following a red card for Jack Colback in the 61st minute, Forest were forced to play the last half-an-hour with a man less.
That required some serious character and the defence stood firm. Joe Worrall was excellent but McKenna once again showcased why Forest parted with an initial £3 million for his services.
Last season, the 25-year-old was good but he played all too infrequently. For whatever reason, he kept breaking down with injuries and that was seriously detrimental to Forest.
During 2021/22 there have been no such problems. Not only has he played every single game for the Reds but he’s also featured in every single minute.
Some stats from Tuesday night highlighted McKenna’s utter brilliance and importance to the Forest cause.
According to Who Scored, he made a staggering seven clearances – more than any Luton player – and also produced three interceptions, the most of any Forest player.
Some supporters believe McKenna to be a no-nonsense defender. Whilst he is, that perhaps doesn’t do his footballing ability justice at all.
He attempted 62 passes on Tuesday, with a success rate of 87.1%. That was the fifth-best of any Forest player; although Cafu achieved 100% for making four passes during his 10-minute cameo.
McKenna’s aerial ability was also highlighted, with four aerial challenges won by the uncompromising Scotland international.
Forest star McKenna slipping under the radar
It’s typically the attacking talent or the homegrown boys such as Joe Worrall, Ryan Yates and Brennan Johnson that get the majority of praise from Forest supporters.
Amid a plethora of woeful signings during the last five years, however, Forest should be applauded for getting the deal to bring McKenna to the City Ground spot on.
The 25-year-old quietly goes about his business and is growing as a player with every game he plays in English football.
On current form, and we hate to say it, but McKenna will be playing Premier League football way before Forest are. Harsh perhaps, but in the modern era, it’s the way the cookie crumbles.
The burly Scotland defender is Forest’s best player most weeks and it’s about time he got more recognition on the back of his recent quality performances.