It was hardly a vintage display from Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, but the Reds booked their place in the second round of the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town at the City Ground.
After a battling display in a 1-1 draw with Leeds United at the weekend, Sabri Lamouchi would have been looking for his side to claim their first win of the 2019/20 campaign over the League One side, whilst also being able to make changes to his massive squad.
With nearly 40 senior players on their books, the Reds, as perhaps expected, made nine changes to the team that started at Elland Road on Saturday.
Tiago Silva and Joe Worrall the only players to keep the shirt, with Yuri Ribeiro, Brice Samba, Carl Jenkinson and John Bostock all coming in and making their debuts.
After a drab first-half display, Forest soon found a breakthrough, with Silva grabbing his first goal in a Garibaldi shirt and slamming home into the roof of the net.
Fleetwood did have some big chances towards the latter stages of the contest, but the Reds held on and claimed a win – they will now face arch rivals Derby County in the second round of the contest.
Here, we take a look at three things we learnt about Forest after their 1-0 win on Tuesday night…
Arvin Appiah is set for a big future
Plenty of Forest player stood out on Tuesday night, but Arvin Appiah really showed flair and talent against Joey Barton’s side.
Forest struggled to break down what was an organised, solid, resilient Fleetwood side, but it was Appiah who caused all the problems down the right-hand side, particularly in the first-half.
He also looked to get in behind Danny Andrew and did so on a couple of occasions, but he was also brave and cut inside on his left foot looking to pull off a short or bring others into play.
He was greeted by a standing ovation when he left the field on 75 minutes, and it will be interesting to see how big of a part he plays for the Reds this season.
Samba Sow could have a massive part to play in midfield
Tuesday night also saw Sow make his first start for Forest, after coming on as a substitute to make his debut against Leeds at the weekend.
The 30-year-old started alongside Bostock and Silva in midfield, and was a really energetic, powerful presence in the middle of the park.
He broke up play really well, picked out some neat passes, and was also quite dangerous with his driving runs forward.
He is a similar type of player to Alfa Semedo, who was rested on Tuesday night, and his performance has left plenty of fans hoping that he will replace Ben Watson in the starting line-up on Saturday against Birmingham.
They need to provide more service to the forwards
It was a frustrating night at times for Forest, but one man who would have been the most frustrated figure out the lot is Rafa Mir, who was extremely quiet on Tuesday night.
The Wolves loanee was given a chance to impress Lamouchi from the off in the absence of Lewis Grabban, but Forest just couldn’t pick him out, and he didn’t receive any kind of service whatsoever.
He is a big, strong, powerful forward who possesses real aerial threat, but they just couldn’t supply him on Tuesday night.
This was the problem on Saturday for the Reds – Grabban may have scored, but he was far too isolated up top, and the wide players were too far away from him.
This is something that Lamouchi needs to address.Like what the FLW have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!