Five senior players who featured in the Nottingham Forest squad at Newcastle on Saturday played for the club’s under-21s last night. The Reds were beaten 3-1 by Southampton as Forest got their Premier League 2 campaign off to a bad start.
Giulian Biancone, Orel Mangala, Alex Mighten, Loic Mbe Soh and Oliver Hammond all started the game. For Mighten, it proved a fruitful run-out, as he bagged a delightful goal that briefly drew Forest level on the night.
Southampton were brilliant in a second half that saw all of the goals come in seven second-half minutes. Dominic Ballard scored twice, with Jack Turner putting the seal on a sound victory on the road for the Saints.
For Forest, this could become a fairly frequent thing this season. With fewer games, the club might use the games as an opportunity for some of the club’s fringe players to get themselves much-needed minutes under their belts.
Last night will have proved a decent run-out. Mangala and Biancone only played for just over an hour and perhaps those two players are closer to a starting berth in Steve Cooper’s team than the other three players.
Mighten didn’t do his case for a place any harm. His neatly taken goal will have been welcomed by the Reds and indeed for any of the clubs that are currently queuing to take him on loan before the transfer window closes.
Five senior players played for Forest under-21s and Mighten needs a loan
Under the watchful eye of Cooper, Mighten will have been delighted to score. It might not be enough though, with Standard Liege preparing to sign him on loan.
Football has been all too infrequent for the winger. Last season he started just six games and at 20-years-old he needs to be playing more frequently.
The Reds might look to add another attacking player to their ranks first. If they do, then surely Mighten will be one of the first to head out on a temporary deal.
Two years ago Johnson enjoyed a successful season on loan at Lincoln. He came back and smashed 19 goals last season. Mighten will hope any loan he goes on can have a similar impact on his career.