Nottingham Forest have looked a completely different team since Chris Hughton’s departure and the appointment of Steve Cooper.
One crucial facet in that upturn in form has been the Reds’ defensive contingent. Joe Worrall has been a stalwart of the Nottingham Forest backline in recent years with many coming and going to partner him at the City Ground.
Tobias Figueiredo has stepped into the void very comfortably in recent weeks and Steve Cooper stressed his importance to the side when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “I really like Tobias. He is very professional; very serious about being at his best all the time. I really like that quality.
“Without doubt, he has been important. It is a back three and they are all equally influential. They are all slightly different, because of the nature of the system we play. Playing in the centre of the back three — that is always going to be an integral position, both with and without the ball.
“There is a lot of emphasis on him and what he does.” he added.
Forest welcome Sheffield United to the City Ground on Tuesday evening hoping to build on the momentum they gained from Jack Colback’s dramatic late strike at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Friday.
Quiz: Have each of these 24 ex-Nottingham Forest academy players ever played in the Premier League?
Figueiredo has been a breath of fresh air at the heart of defence in the last month or so. The 27-year-old has had an up and down spell at the City Ground since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2018, but his composure and fighting spirit has typified the Reds resurgence up the table in the last stretch of fixtures.
His relationship with Worrall and Scott McKenna either side of him has played in a major role in enabling Forest to attain a firm grip in games that were otherwise getting away from them at the start of the campaign.