Nottingham Forest attacker Philip Zinckernagel has expressed his wish to score more goals in his quest to drag the East Midlands side into the top six, speaking to the club’s official media team.
The ex-Denmark youth international arrived at the City Ground from Watford in August on a season-long loan deal, bringing promotion-winning pedigree and a winning mentality to a side that finished in an underwhelming 17th place last term.
Although he managed to get off to a reasonably decent start, scoring once and recording three assists in his first four competitive games for his current loan side, this contribution didn’t pay dividends on the pitch as they claimed just one point from their opening seven league matches, leading to Chris Hughton’s dismissal.
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Like many others, Zinckernagel has thrived under current boss Steve Cooper, recording four goals and six assists in total in 23 displays for the Reds and continuing to establish himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet alongside Lewis Grabban and Brennan Johnson.
Going unbeaten in all but one of Welshman Cooper’s 15 matches at the helm thus far, they have elevated themselves from the bottom of the table to seventh, currently sitting just one point adrift of the play-off zone and looking like one of the favourites to secure their place in the top six in their current vein of form.
With this, the 27-year-old is keen to see Forest in and around the promotion mix at the end of the campaign as he guns for his second successive Championship promotion, but believes he has a personal objective to achieve as well as he sat down with the second-tier side’s media team.
Speaking about these goals, Zinckernagel said: “My favourite goal must be the one against Reading, that was a nice moment.
“As an offensive player, though, you’re never really happy. You always strive for more.
“Six assists is okay, but I would like to score a few more goals.
“For the team, I hope we can get into the top-six or get as close as possible, but for myself, I want to score more goals and be involved in more assists.
“I came here to play minutes regularly, that’s an important factor, but I really just want to improve.”
Considering he’s played in the middle on a few occasions, he would ideally want to get into double figures in terms of goals sooner rather than later, so improving his goal record would only go on to give him more confidence, something he isn’t short of anyway under Cooper.
However, he would take any goal involvements at this stage if it means Forest can secure their place in the top six because that would make his CV look more impressive, giving him a reason to argue why he should be given a chance in the Premier League.
If Claudio Ranieri refuses to give him a chance at Vicarage Road, he could utilise this period with Forest to put himself in the shop window ahead of a potential move elsewhere, so there will be no shortage in motivation for him to do well.
And Forest themselves may be able to recruit him permanently if they win promotion to the top flight – but he needs to focus on the present – because his consistency could end up playing a huge part in whether they manage to achieve a top-six finish or not.
With the Reds, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United joining the likes of Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City in the battle for a play-off spot, they can’t afford to drop off at this stage, especially after working so hard to get to their current position.