Nottingham Forest claimed a second win in their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 victory over Hertha Berlin.
The Pirelli Stadium has proved a happy hunting ground for Forest during their friendly campaign.
They beat Burton Albion 1-0 last week and followed that up with a steady performance against the Bundesliga outfit.
Forest’s first two goals came from Lyle Taylor, who bagged twice in the opening 28 minutes to put the Reds firmly in the ascendency.
The final goal came from Lukas Ullrich who fired past his own goalkeeper with just six minutes remaining.
Hertha did pull one back on the stroke of half-time but Derry Scherhant’s goal proved in vain.
Here are five things we learned from Nottingham Forest against Hertha Berlin.
Five things we learned from Nottingham Forest 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Taylor shows class but he’ll still depart
It’s hard to imagine that the striker will remain at Forest beyond the end of the transfer window. Still, he’s putting himself in the shop window.
He scored two goals against Hertha Berlin tonight and his second goal, in particular, was a relatively decent finish.
Taylor works hard but he has some flaws. There was some still evidence of his petulance during this appearance, whilst he does have a lapse of concentration in his locker.
The striker is still capable of doing a job somewhere in the EFL and once Forest add another striker to their ranks, it’s likely he will depart the club.
Niakhate is already shrewd business
This signing already looks like a quality addition. The 26-year-old was the standout against Hertha Berlin with a series of fine blocks and tackles.
Niakhate is a left-sided central defender. Here, however, he lined up in the middle of a back three, with Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna flanking him.
The player was added from Mainz and after a strong season during 2021/22, it was anticipated he’d looked sharp.
Naturally, the jury will remain out until he’s done it against Premier League defenders but this was a very encouraging performance.
Pre-season fitness evident
On 63 minutes, Cooper opted to ring the changes. Every outfield player was withdrawn and given half an hour, give or take, to stake their claim.
Plenty of players are desperately craving some minutes. Forest also have a few players who will perhaps head out before the window closes.
Academy players Aaron Donnelly, Billy Fewster, Oliver Hammond and Dale Taylor got some important minutes and perhaps loan spells could be sought for those players.
With just three friendlies remaining it will be interesting to see what the selection process looks like for those games.
Dale Taylor set for stardom
This boy simply never looks faxed by anything. He did really well in the FA Youth Cup Final at the end of last season and he produced a mature showing here.
He’s not built like a player that has played most of his football at youth team level and his physicality is pretty brilliant.
Taylor needs more senior games to progress. There is a sense that he’s good enough for men’s football but perhaps the Premier League is a bridge too far just yet.
With that in mind, if Forest could get the teenager on loan somewhere it could prove a positive step in his development.
Williams shows class
Neco Williams isn’t Djed Spence. That goes without saying. What the 21-year-old is, however, is a talented player and one who deserves a crack to prove himself as the Spence alternative.
Williams will take some time to settle given that he’s played most of his football as a full-back and not a wing-back.
He produced a tantalising delivery for Forest’s first goal with Scott McKenna heading back across goal for Taylor to score a tap-in.
It’s clear that his delivery is one of his strong points and Williams could prove to be a wonderful signing by Steve Cooper.