Nottingham Forest winger Josh Bowler played 90 minutes on Monday as Blackpool slipped closer to relegation. The Tangerines lost 3-1 to Luton Town in their first game since Mick McCarthy was sacked as the club’s manager.

Bowler has endured a pretty frustrating year and it’s gone full circle really. He started the campaign at Blackpool before earning a move to Forest who loaned him straight to Olympiacos. Then, after failing to play much football, he returned to Bloomfield Road during the January transfer window.

Forest Bowler
Photo; Dave Howarth; CameraSport; Getty Images

It’s not been an easy time for him back at the club that signed him in the summer of 2021. He’s found the net just twice since his second coming and has also registered one assist, with Blackpool edging closer to a return to League One.

The Tangerines are currently being led by caretaker boss Stephen Dobbie. Blackpool are seven points adrift of safety, with just five games left to play and they face relegation rivals Wigan at the weekend.

On Monday, Bowler was criticised by the Blackpool Gazette. He was given a 6/10 rating and they claimed: “He had a couple of good chances and always a threat down the right, but guilty of giving the ball away too often as well.”

Forest-owned Bowler plays as Blackpool edge towards League One

It seems pretty clear that Bowler won’t get the chance to make it a hat-trick of spells at Blackpool. He will return to Forest and as things stand at the moment, the Reds-owned winger will be preparing for another season in the Championship.

The Reds will have hopes that Bowler can produce the goods at the City Ground. He caught the eye during last season when Forest defeated Blackpool at the City Ground early into Steve Cooper’s time at the football club.

Forest Bowler
Photo; Alex Dodd; CameraSport; Getty Images

Clearly, his confidence has been knocked at some point this season. The challenge for whoever is in charge at Forest next season will be to instil that confidence back into Bowler and get him firing once again.

Bowler isn’t renowned for constantly giving the ball away. Perhaps this season has taken its toll on the player and he will hope to return to Forest in the summer and return to his very best form.

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