Nottingham Forest were beaten 2-1 by Newcastle United on Friday and the defeat highlighted just how desperately Cheikhou Kouyate is required.

The Reds succumbed to their first home defeat in nine games; with the Magpies coming from behind to claim a win in injury time.

Forest opened the scoring through Emmanuel Dennis. Two goals from Alexander Isak pushed the Reds closer to the relegation zone, however, and the concerns are growing.

Kouyate Forest
(Photo; Clive Brunskill; Getty Images)

This international break could come at a perfect time. It will allow Steve Cooper to take stock of the situation and get some injured players back.

Kouyate, Ryan Yates, Taiwo Awoniyi and Willy Boly have all been huge misses of late and it would be great to get some of those players back.

It’s perhaps Kouyate who has been missed more than most. At 33-years-old that doesn’t sound ideal but his absence has been noticed in recent weeks.

The experienced midfielder hasn’t played since the World Cup. He injured his hamstring during Senegal’s first game of the competition against the Netherlands.

There is good news, however. Kouyate was back in training before the Newcastle game, although the fixture did come too soon.

The player should benefit from two more weeks on the training ground and Cooper has to throw him back in against Wolves.

Kouyate now desperately required by Forest

Given that the club made a glut of summer signings, it’s perhaps a surprise that the team is crying out for a 33-year-old. But, here we are!

Kouyate is the steely presence that the Reds are missing. Other players have tried and failed to fulfil his role and the situation is getting worse.

Jonjo Shelvey could be the man to make way. Since his impressive cameo from the bench against Fulham, the January signing has struggled.

On Friday, he completed just 70% of his passes and that proved to be the ninth-worst ratio of any outfield Forest player.

Kouyate Forest
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Kouyate is a calming influence in the engine room. Not only that but he roars into tackles and commands respect from his teammates.

The man who has played for West Ham and Crystal Palace has made 270 Premier League appearances during his career.

As a result, that sort of influence could be understated in the survival push and Cooper has to call upon him after the international break.

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