Former Nottingham Forest forward believes Lewis Grabban will become a crucial player under Steve Cooper during the Welshman’s tenure at the City Ground, speaking in an interview with This is Futbol.
The 33-year-old has made a quick start to this campaign, already scoring four goals in 10 appearances and scoring twice in his last two games under his new manager, even coming on against Barnsley at the end of last month with an injury to completely change the game.
He was previously a doubt for the trip at Oakwell after suffering a thigh injury against Millwall in the previous game, but was risked on the hour mark as he was brought on and played a key part in Forest’s equaliser a minute later, before tapping home in the 81st minute to all but seal the three points for the East Midlands outfit.
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This form is in stark contrast from his record under Sabri Lamouchi and Chris Hughton last term, scoring six times in 28 second-tier appearances and being part of a frontline that had the joint second-worst attack in the Championship during the 2020/21 campaign.
However, the previous season seemed to be an anomaly for a forward who has been a consistent goalscorer for multiple clubs during his career in the EFL and impressed during his first two seasons at Forest after his arrival in the summer of 2018, scoring 36 times.
One man who believes he will overcome last season’s poor form and shine under new management is ex-Nottingham Forest man Nigel Jemson, who said to This is Futbol: “Lewis’ record proves itself that if he gets chances he will score goals.
“We need Lewis Grabban in the box, ok he scored a rocket against Birmingham but listen that’s not his game, you know it’s sniffing chances out and his record speaks for itself.
“So keep Lewis fit and obviously we’ve got Lyle Taylor as well, we’ve got another couple of strikers in the background but Lewis is very important and I’m sure he’s a big part of the manager’s plans going forward.”
Even at 33, Grabban is still performing well at this stage and barring last season, his consistency throughout his career has been the most impressive thing.
This is made even more impressive by the fact he has been at a fair few clubs throughout his career – and is continuing to thrive at Forest at a time when they really need him with Lyle Taylor continuing to be out of form.
Depth up top is an issue Cooper will need to address in the January transfer window, with the likes of Yuma Suzuki and M’Bala Nzola rejecting moves to the City Ground in the summer, but the potential arrival is unlikely to displace Grabban at this stage.
And thankfully for the 33-year-old, the international break seems to have come at the right time for him after being risked against Barnsley in the penultimate game before this interval.
He may have started against Birmingham City in the following game, but this rest will allow him to recuperate, fully recover from any existing knocks and take more of his new manager’s ideas on board.
The latter can only help him to score more under Cooper – and he will be ready to continue in the same vein against Blackpool at the weekend.