Garry Birtles says that Lewis Grabban faces an uphill battle to get back into the Nottingham Forest side due to the impressive form of Lyle Taylor.
It has been a frustrating start to the season for Grabban, who scored 20 goals in the Sky Bet Championship for Forest last season.
The 32-year-old is yet to get off the mark so far this season, and has missed the last four games due to a hip problem.
Quiz: Did these 17 Nottingham Forest players ever actually score a league goal for the club?
In his absence, summer signing Taylor has stepped up to the plate, scoring three goals in his last two games including a brace against Wycombe Wanderers, taking his tally up to four goals for the season.
Grabban was guilty of squandering plenty of goalscoring opportunities before his injury, and Taylor is now starting to establish himself as Forest’s main man up top.
Speaking on the Garibaldi Red podcast, Birtles feels that Grabban faces an uphill battle to get back into the team, with Taylor improving by the game.
He said: “I think Taylor has to the number one striker now from what he’s shown. When you’re scoring goals you can’t wait to get back out on the pitch.
“He’ll be flying in training. You have to go with what’s in front of you and he’s in form. He’s the best striker at the moment.
“Taylor is a different kind of player to Grabban because of the work he puts in. People say because Lewis gets so many goals you can forget about work rate but I think that can haunt you a bit when you aren’t scoring goals.
“Taylor’s game suits Forest at the moment. I think his work rubs off on players around him. He’ll close players down, gets a block in and that can spark something. He’s going to be difficult to dislodge.”
Grabban started the season poorly, and a spell on the sidelines through injury has added to his frustrations this term.
In his absence, Taylor has really made his opportunity in the first-team count. He’s scored goals and his overall all-round performances have been impressive.
I personally feel that he offers more to the team than Grabban does – his work-rate is good and he is also good in the air, and I agree with what Birtles is saying here.