Nottingham Forest could be forgiven for believing their luck was out when Jesse Lingard went down in the warm-up prior to last night’s clash with Manchester United. Now, the Reds are staring at a big problem going into some hugely important fixtures.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Lingard has not started for the Reds since a 3-0 defeat to United in the Premier League in December. Last night, when the team sheet was shared, Lingard was on it for the Reds; returning against his former club at his former playground.
Disaster struck though for the 30-year-old. As he was going through his final preparations, something didn’t feel quite right. As a result, it was quickly announced that Emmanuel Dennis would take his place in the starting eleven.
Lingard will be desperate to get back on the pitch and Forest badly need him. Steve Cooper knows his importance and at 3-0 down going into last night’s game, it seemed like the perfect chance to give Lingard a run-out.
Now, Forest are sweating over the fitness of Lingard ahead of a massive game with Leeds. Morgan Gibbs-White is already injured and that leaves the Reds without a recognised number 10 going into the game.
Forest luck is out and now Cooper is sweating on Lingard for Sunday
There is now a huge problem staring Cooper in the face. With Gibbs-White and Lingard both injured, the Reds must find a solution ahead of Sunday’s clash with Leeds at the City Ground.
Gustavo Scarpa has operated as a number 10 before. His energy is somewhat stifled in that role, however, and perhaps he’s better served playing out wide when called upon.
Lingard’s experience could prove vital to the Reds over the next few months. Prior to the World Cup, he was just starting to produce his best form but this is yet another setback.
Forest will hope that the setback he sustained last night is a small one. With Gibbs-White injured, this is Lingard’s time to shine and the team desperately needs his presence on Sunday.