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Garry Birtles urges Chris Hughton to make Joao Carvalho call at Nottingham Forest

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Garry Birtles has urged Joao Carvalho to be given a run of games by Chris Hughton at Nottingham Forest.

Carvalho has struggled to make an impact under Hughton since returning to the City Ground in pre-season, following a loan spell with Almeria in Spain.

The attacking midfielder scored a brace in Forest’s 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Bradford City, but in the Championship, he has been unable to make an impression.

Carvalho has made only two starts in the Championship, and at the weekend, he was taken off at Derby County whilst losing 1-0 at half-time.

Forest have found it tough in the early stages of this season, yielding one point from their first five games and struggling to find a rhythm in front of goal.

Carvalho, a creative midfielder, will be eager to help turn Forest’s fortunes around after the international break and make an impression.

Speaking on Nottinghamshire Live’s Garibaldi Red podcast, Reds legend Garry Birtles urged Hughton to give Carvalho a regular run of games after the break.

He said: “He has the ability and we don’t doubt that. Is he given enough of a chance to express himself as an attacking player? Does a conservative manager hold him back?

“It’s so hard to have the right answer with Carvalho. He’s not had a run of six games to show what he can do and then he gets hooked at half-time against Derby.

“You have sympathy for him, but the manager makes decisions to get results and in the second half at Derby, Forest were much better.

“He’s not had a run of six games to show what he can do and then he gets hooked at half-time against Derby.

“You have sympathy for him, but the manager makes decisions to get results and in the second half at Derby, Forest were much better.

“I’d like to see him get a run of a few more games to show what he can with the message to express himself.”

The Verdict

I’m not quite sure whether Carvalho is the answer to Forest’s problems in all honesty.

He hasn’t been given a lot of minutes this season, however when he has been introduced or started, he hasn’t shown enough presence on or off the ball in my view.

He doesn’t look strong enough, and on the ball he has been unable to create something when the onus has been on him.

He shouldn’t be written off, though.


Nottingham-based journalist who regularly covers Nottingham Forest home and away.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Garry Birtles urges Chris Hughton to make Joao Carvalho call at Nottingham Forest

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