Lee Bowyer has singled out Lewis Grabban, Brennan Johnson and Lyle Taylor for praise after Birmingham City’s defeat to Nottingham Forest at the weekend.
Forest made it back-to-back wins under Steve Cooper on Saturday, with the Reds putting Blues to the sword with a big 3-0 win at St. Andrew’s.
Grabban opened the scoring in the first half with a superb effort from distance, with Ryan Yates heading in a second goal before half-time.
Djed Spence made it 3-0 after the interval as he latched onto Philip Zinckernagel’s through ball and fired beyond Matija Sarkic.
Blues did come close to getting something out of the game, with Lukas Jutkiewicz hitting the woodwork and Marc Roberts being denied by Brice Samba.
Speaking to Birmingham Live, Lee Bowyer praised Grabban for his fight in the final third, singling out Johnson and Taylor for praise too.
He said: “I like to think I have been respectful and given certain people the benefit of the doubt. ‘Come on, I have seen you do this, don’t go back to the old ways’. Then it’s their choice as a player.
“You want to do that? OK, you don’t play. You want to do that, keep clean sheets? Then you play. It’s not just the defenders.
“Scott Hogan gave the ball away so cheaply. Grabban fighting to keep the ball for his team every time the ball went up to him. Young Johnson is a kid, fighting to keep the ball for his team, don’t give it away cheaply.
“Lyle Taylor came off the bench, fighting to keep the ball for his team. Scott Hogan just gave it away like not a care in the world, time and time again. Guess what? Don’t work with me.”
Forest look like a completely different outfit in the final third and they are scoring goals for fun at the moment, which isn’t something fans have come to expect of their side in recent times.
Johnson, Zinckernagel and Joe Lolley are so good on the counter either side of the centre forward, and Grabban and Taylor are two experienced number nines.
They do have some very good players going forward, but Chris Hughton was unable to get the best out of them and it’s taken a different coach to do so.