Nottingham Forest are showing signs of a team who look set to end the Championship campaign strongly, amid a couple of positive results of late.
The Reds arrested a run of six games without a win over the Easter weekend, recording back-to-back wins over Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers.
He may not wish to admit it just yet, but inside, Chris Hughton will undoubtedly be feeling relaxed about the chances of his side avoiding relegation. They sit 15th in the Championship, 13 points clear of the bottom three albeit having played two or three games more, but quite frankly, they are a much better side than those continuing to fight the drop.
Hughton will now cast one eye on the summer, where he will be hoping to reshape his squad and prepare them for a positive 2021/22 campaign.
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Having only had a few days in the summer and a full January transfer window to bring in his own players, strengthening his squad will be the main priority heading into next season, and trimming the squad will be beneficial in doing so.
Here, we take a look at two Forest players who will be hoping to prove a point to Hughton and save their City Ground careers in the final weeks of the season…
As much as Sow says he would like to extend his stay at the City Ground, right now, that looks unlikely. Not all of it is his fault, though.
Sow joined Forest from Dynamo Moscow last season, and was an integral player whenever he stepped onto the grass. The combative midfielder impressed in his 26 outings, but missed a large chunk of the season through injury.
Those injury problems haven’t gone away, unfortunately. The 31-year-old has been limited to only 16 appearances this season, and hasn’t featured since the end of January in a 0-0 draw with Barnsley despite being fit and available for the last few weeks.
Sow does offer a lot of physicality and drive in midfield, however his technical ability, which has been showed in abundance since James Garner and Filip Krovinovic arrived, just hasn’t been there.
The midfield seems untouchable at the minute, and Sow will have to do an awful lot if he is to regain his place in the side and look to earn a new deal going forward.
It’s rare for a club’s leading goalscorer to have such a frustrating campaign, but that is what it has been for Taylor: a frustrating campaign.
The 31-year-old is currently the Reds’ top goalscorer with five goals to his name, in a season where goals have been hard to come by for the large part.
But Taylor finds himself behind Lewis Grabban and Glenn Murray in the pecking order on Trentside – the former was back amongst the goals yesterday, scoring a superb solo strike against QPR.
Taylor has made 34 appearances in the Championship this season, but only 13 of those have been starts. He has had to make do with substitute cameos, coming off the bench 22 times in all competitions.
This is something which he can’t be satisfied with and won’t be satisfied with heading into next season, and he will be determined to make some sort of impact between now and the end of the campaign to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.