This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Nottingham Forest are facing a crucial period in their season now with Steve Cooper having been confirmed as the successor to Chris Hughton at the City Ground.
The Reds finally secured their first win in the Championship this season against Huddersfield Town last time out.
That came with Steven Reid switching to a 3-4-2-1 formation with Lewis Grabban starting ahead of Lyle Taylor upfront and Brennan Johnson and Joe Lolley playing off him.
Taylor had been starting regularly for Forest this season under Hughton, with the forward having managed to make six starts for the Reds in their opening eight matches. He has managed to score one goal in those six appearances
However, having been dropped for Grabban at Huddersfield in a game that Forest won, Taylor might face a tough fight to get into the side under Cooper.
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With Cooper now in position at Nottingham Forest, we asked some of our FLW writers what they think the future has in store for Taylor at the City Ground and whether he can remain a key player…
It’ll be interesting, for me he needs to sort his attitude out a bit, as I see him sulking when something goes wrong far too often.
I’ve been watching Taylor since he was at Wimbledon and I have to say he has become a very complete player.
He certainly does the technical side of things well and that’s something Cooper will love.
Every player gets a clean sheet under a new manager, so it will be interesting to see how the new boss wants to fit him into the team.
If truth be told, I still think Taylor will be behind Grabban in the pecking order – participle after the latter’ step recent goals.
Quiz: Are these 22 Nottingham Forest stats real or fake?
I don’t really see why he can’t be a key player. A new manager brings new opportunities and Taylor is a player that knows that more than anyone.
He’s a striker that can score goals at this level and he will, no doubt, benefit from the fact Forest should be playing more attack-minded football under Cooper.
It’s maybe worth noting as well that he didn’t lose his place to Grabban. Grabban and Taylor were starting in a front-two prior to last Saturday, so it was simply that the former was favoured ahead of him.
That’s understandable, too. Grabban has been very reliable for Forest over the years and scored a lot of goals for the football club. It’s not really a surprise that Steve Reid felt he was a safer bet than Taylor at Huddersfield.
A decision that was fully justified by Grabban’s performance in a crucial win.
Grabban now looks like the man that will start as Cooper’s main striker and that’s another challenge Taylor is going to have to overcome.
He’s got the ability to do that if he gets his head down and works hard, though. Cooper isn’t going to be relying just on Grabban, he needs Taylor pushing his main striker hard.
If he can rediscover some goalscoring form there’s no reason why he can’t become a key player for Forest.
We know that Taylor is a quality finisher, we saw it regularly at Charlton, and it’s just about trying to get back to that level.
It’s not like Grabban has looked particularly convincing this term, so there is an opportunity to make the number nine role his own.
A new manager will bring new opportunities to impress and Taylor needs to make sure he can do that.
Even if he doesn’t move above Grabban in the pecking order, Cooper is likely to need depth in forward areas this term.
The opportunities will come, it’s just about taking them.