Huddersfield Town winger Duane Holmes has admitted he wasn’t surprised by how well Nottingham Forest played yesterday in an interview with Huddersfield Town TV, as the East Midlands side overcame the Terriers 2-0 away from home yesterday.
Forest, who were rock bottom before the clash and were three points off 23rd after winning just one point from a possible 21, had sacked former boss Chris Hughton after their previous game against Middlesbrough and were under the temporary stewardship of Steven Reid for the match at the John Smith’s Stadium.
They broke the deadlock midway through the first half through a Lewis Grabban header after Brennan Johnson’s fantastic run down the right-hand side, with an unfortunate second-half own goal from Lee Nicholls securing a precious three points.
Quiz: Are these 22 Nottingham Forest stats real or fake?
Although they still remain bottom of the second-tier table, they are now three points away from safety and will be hoping to capitalise on their home advantage next weekend as they face Millwall.
Huddersfield winger Holmes, who came on for Josh Koroma in the 58th minute of yesterday’s tie, believes the East Midlands side deserve to be a lot higher than they currently are, saying: “They’re a lot better than the table suggests.
“They’re a squad full of good players, they have been for a while, and obviously there might be a little bit of a hangover from last season, they didn’t end their season well.
Love the EFL? Want to share your opinions about your club? Get involved by subscribing to FLW TV on Youtube HERE!
“It’s hard to pick yourself back up from that, but it’s obviously difficult when the manager’s just been sacked, and the players have a spring in their step and want to prove themselves.
“I’m not surprised by how well they played.”
After agreeing compensation with Swansea City, Nottingham Forest look set to appoint Steve Cooper as their next boss, who will have a huge task in elevating Forest up the Championship table after such a poor start.
However, their 2-0 victory this weekend has given them the platform to go on and improve on their early-season form.
With the calibre of players they have at their disposal, Nottingham Forest shouldn’t be anywhere near the bottom of the second-tier table.
However, their recruitment late on in the summer put Chris Hughton on the back foot immediately – and there seemed to be a huge disconnect between the Irishman and the club’s board before his departure – so they will need to hire someone that fits in their mould.
As a potentially more adaptable coach, Steve Cooper could be the ideal appointment after arguably over-achieving with Swansea City in the past couple of seasons in guiding them to two consecutive play-off finishes, although Forest shouldn’t be in this situation regardless.
With the likes of Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna in defence, with Joe Lolley, Philip Zinckernagel, Brennan Johnson and Joao Carvalho available as options to support Lyle Taylor and Lewis Grabban up top, they should be at least in mid-table at this stage of the campaign.
The one issue Cooper may encounter is the current lack of strikers at his disposal. He often opted with Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe up top at Swansea, will he risk playing both Lyle Taylor and Lewis Grabban up top? They already have in all fairness, so it’s an option the 41-year-old could pursue.
Their next opponents Millwall mustn’t underestimate Forest despite their current predicament – and the match at the John Smith’s Stadium will help to reinforce that.