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‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ – Key tactical tweak at Nottingham Forest: The verdict



This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more

Nottingham Forest deployed a 3-4-3 formation as they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 at the weekend.

Steven Reid took interim charge of the Reds following the departure of Chris Hughton during the week, with the Reds producing a much better performance.

The Reds switched system, with Tobias Figueiredo, Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna all starting at the back. Djed Spence and Max Lowe started in front of them as wing-backs.

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James Garner and Ryan Yates remained in midfield, and the front-three of Joe Lolley, Lewis Grabban and Brennan Johnson all thrived.

After picking up their first win of the season, and Steve Cooper expected to be appointed as new manager soon, should Forest stick with the system going forward?

Here, we discuss…

Alfie Burns

100%. It suited them down to the ground at Huddersfield. The personnel involved thrived and looked comfortable, whilst Forest were also able to play with more intensity and overloads out wide.

Huddersfield were in fine form heading into the clash and Forest caught them cold with an attack-minded system.

Max Lowe and Djed Spence were excellent at wing-back, denying Sorba Thomas and Josh Koroma an inch. Joe Lolley and Brennan Johnson also benefitted, playing higher up the pitch and not leaving Lewis Grabban isolated.

For the opening hour, Forest were solid, with plenty of attacking intent.

The system also allowed them to drop into a 5-4-1 as Huddersfield looked for a route back into the game after the second goal.

They were solid in the closing stages and Huddersfield’s only real clear-cut chances came from Thomas’ set-pieces.

There’s so much talent in the Forest squad and Steve Cooper, who looks set to take charge, just needs to find a system that suits the personnel he’s got. Steven Reid feels like he’s done him a massive favour on Saturday.

Adam Jones


Everyone seems to fit in well with this formation. The defence has an added layer of protection with three in central defence, Max Lowe and Djed Spence thrive by getting forward and the likes of Philip Zinckernagel and Brennan Johnson will be able to support the lone striker.

Playing both Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor was risky considering those are the only real two senior options they have up top, so this formation is also beneficial because it means one of the two are likely to be on the bench.

Less reliance on the latter is needed after an underwhelming spell at the City Ground thus far – and on his own – Grabban should do a decent job with the amount of experience he has.

Steve Cooper should stick with this formation and not go with two up top – and because of this possibility – you would almost be hoping they would delay a move for the 41-year-old to give Reid another chance with this system.

Everything clicked into place at the John Smith’s Stadium and if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

Quiz: Are these 22 Nottingham Forest stats real or fake?

1 of 22

Nottingham Forest scored 38 league goals last season

Ned Holmes

It would certainly make a lot of sense.

Worrall, McKenna, and Figueiredo has the makings of an excellent back three at Championship level, while both Lowe and Spence are comfortable operating as wing-backs.

The formation seemed to allow Ryan Yates and James Garner to impress on Saturday and given the midfield struggles the Reds have had this season, that is massive.

The squad is well suited to the formation and it is one that Steve Cooper has had success with in the past.

With all that in mind, you feel it’s a no-brainer to continue with it moving forward.

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

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ – Key tactical tweak at Nottingham Forest: The verdict

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