This weekend saw Martin O’Neill’s Nottingham Forest side do what they should have been doing all season: despatching sides and killing games off.
Throughout the campaign, they have allowed sides to find their way back into matches, but goals for Karim Ansarifard, Joao Carvalho and Joe Lolley in the second half secured a 3-0 win against Hull City.
With the Tigers flying high, it was a match that could have easily gone the otherway, but plenty of Forest men stepped up for the occasion.
Yohan Benalouane and Alex Milosevic remained incredibly solid at the back, whilst Pele impressed in midfield alongside Ryan Yates.
But it was the performance of substitution Carvalho that perhaps proved to be the most significant of the day.
The record signing has been consigned to the bench since O’Neill took the reigns but took his chance when it arrived on Saturday.
Throughout the campaign, the 22-year-old has shown signs of brilliance but has never been given a solid run in the team.
It is something that the fans had been calling for O’Neill to give him in recent weeks but the Irisman remained stubborn.
And the attacker’s cameo on Saturday exposed this as his biggest failing so far.
Introduced on the 68th minute with the scores still at 0-0, he changed the match, finding the back of the net brilliantly just four minutes later.
His introduction really sparked the Reds into life and surely showed O’Neill enough to earn a run in the team from the start of matches.
A pass success rate of 89% showed a man who is ready to take on the mantle of the club’s chief creator and his manager now needs to swallow his pride and admit it.Like what the FLW have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!