Blackpool defender Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel has insisted that although it was a difficult decision to leave Nottingham Forest in the summer it is not something that he regrets.
Lawrence-Gabriel had started the campaign in and around Nottingham Forest’s starting line-up in the first few matches and he did make four appearances for the Reds in the Championship.
However, by the end of the summer transfer window, it became clear that Forest were willing to allow the 23-year-old to leave the club amid interest from Blackpool if they received the right sort of offer.
Neil Critchley’s side ended up producing an offer that Nottingham Forest could not turn down for the right-back and that meant that he made the switch to Bloomfield Road. It has turned out to be an excellent signing for the Tangerines with him enjoying an excellent campaign with him winning 6.2 duels per game.
The right-back even managed to impress when Blackpool traveled to the City Ground a few weeks with him providing the assist for their goal in a 2-1 defeat in his first match against Nottingham Forest. His performance on that day perhaps reminded Forest why they should have been more willing to keep hold of the 23-year-old than they were in the end in the summer.
Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Lawrence-Gabriel admitted that is was a tough decision to leave Nottingham Forest during the summer transfer window. However, he insisted that he is loving life at Blackpool and he is not regretting his decision.
He said: “I love it here.
“It was a big decision to make the move, but it was just one of those things. I’ve just got to dig in and create a future for myself and the team as well. It’s massive.
“It helps having that bond with the fans, because it gives me that confidence and belief to express myself on the pitch. It does really help.
“We will keep going until the end in every game and with the fans we’ve got, they always give us that extra push. We can’t thank them enough, it’s a massive boost.
“Whether it’s home or away, they are the best fans in the league; 100 per cent. No matter where we go, they always outsing the other fans. It’s massive for us.”
Forest might well look back on their decision to allow Lawrence-Gabriel to leave the club in the summer and regret it considering the consistent form that he has been able to show since he arrived at Bloomfield Road. Any doubts over whether he could be a reliable right-back in the Championship have been put to one side by his performance levels for the Tangerines.
Steve Cooper might well have decided to keep hold of the 23-year-old had he been in charge at the City Ground when the decision was made to sell the defender. You could have seen the new Forest boss developing the defender’s game over the next few years and turning him into a quality asset for the Reds.
However, Lawrence-Gabriel is currently working with a coach who can do that for his game as well in the shape of Critchley. It seems that the only way is up for the defender and judging by his performances this season, he could even eventually progress beyond the Championship, but that will take time.
It was a brave decision to leave Forest permanently but it is one that seems to be paying off very well for the defender at the moment. There does not seem to be any doubts over his quality at Blackpool and that is what he needed after Forest’s willingness to cash in on him.