Dimitar Evtimov left Nottingham Forest in 2018 and he was well impressed with Anthony Elanga and Taiwo Awoniyi yesterday. The Reds were beaten 2-1 by Arsenal as the curtain came up on the 2023/24 campaign.

The Reds needed a spirited second-half performance to keep Arsenal at bay. Goals from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka had seen the Gunners threaten to run riot at the Emirates Stadium.

Forest Evtimov
Photo; Kevin Barnes; CameraSport; Getty Images

Forest gave it a go in the second half, however. Awoniyi and Elanga both stepped off the bench to give the Reds some fresh impetus with the pair combining for the goal.

Evtimov didn’t quite make the grade at the City Ground. He played just three times for the senior ranks and spent time on loan with Burton Albion, Port Vale and Mansfield.

The goalkeeper now plays for CSKA Sofia in his homeland. He’s made 25 appearances for the Bulgarian giants and kept an impressive 14 clean sheets.

Yesterday he was pretty impressed by Elanga and Awoniyi. The two combined to score for the Reds following a blistering counter-attack by Forest.

Evtimov felt that the desire the pair showed was a great example for younger players. The pair will hope to combine on a few more occasions as the season progresses, with both very important.

Evtimov impressed by Forest duo

The Reds were impressive on the counter yesterday but they need to do it more. Forest were good when they showed attacking intent and Steve Cooper will be striving to do that.

The Reds nurtured Evtimov through their academy. He didn’t play the amount of football that he desperately craved but at 29 now he’s made a pretty decent career out of the game.

Forest will now move on to their game against Sheffield United on Friday night. The Reds will be hoping to get a big three points on the board in front of their own supporters.

Elanga and Awoniyi will both push to be starters for that game. When the pair are up to speed it could be frightening just how effective the pair can be together.